tv Acting Budget Director on Presidents 2021 Budget Request CSPAN February 12, 2020 8:57pm-12:06am EST
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azor testifies before the senate finance committee on the president's 2021 budget request. that gets underway at 9:30 a.m. >> acting office of management and budget director russell vought testified on president trump's $4.8 trillion budget proposal for 2021 before the house budget committee. this runs three hours. >> good morning. i want to welcome everyone to the president's budget submission and certainly welcome the acting director of omb, russell vought. thank you for being here to testify on the president's 2021 budget proposal. i hope this hearing will provide an honest examination of the priorities set forth by the trump administration so we can get back to passing appropriations bills that reflect the needs and priorities of the american people.
i will yield myself five minutes for an opening statement. six months ago, the president signed a bipartisan -- >> i'm sorry. >> okay. [laughter] is it all right? can everybody hear me? six months ago, the president signed a bipartisan two-year budget deal into law. it set rational discretionary toplines, allowing strong investments in our national and economic security. it had bipartisan support, including the ranking member and myself and set congress up for a successful appropriations process. but now the president is going back on his word, proposing deep cuts to programs that help american families and prepare our nation for the future. once again he is breaking his
promises to the american people. less than a week after promising medicare and social security would be saved from budget cuts, the president proposed slashing half $1 trillion from medicare, knowing it would cut social security by at least $24 billion, knowing it would hurt disabled workers. the president said he was working to improve american's health care. knowing it will result in families losing life savings health care coverage. after talking up his plans to build an inclusive society by making sure every young american gets a great education and the andrtunity to achieve , that's a quote, the president proposes slashing discretionary resources for the department of education by $5.6 billion. this investing in america students. he then proposes a $170 billion cut over ten years in the
-- to the student loan programs knowing it will make it harder for young people to make a college degree. the president is trying to cut nutrition assistance by more than $180 billion. that's before taking his recent mean spirited regulations into account. knowing all along it will force more families to go hungry. in his state of the union speech, president trump talked about protecting the environment by planting trees. you put people before polluters and not gutting the epa by more than 26% like this budget would do. amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the president gave the american people his word that his administration would, quote, take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens in the threat. that was another lie, because just days later his budget included a nearly 19% reduction to the center for disease control and prevention's discretionary budget authority despite this ongoing threat. the bottom line here is this
president and his congressional republican allies have prioritized special interests and the rich and powerful over the health, safety, and economic security of american families. the president's destructive and ir rational budget continues the misplaced allegiance by intentionally going after working families and vulnerable americans while extending tax cuts and give aways to the weltiest individuals and large -- wealthiest individuals and largest corporations. over the course of the decade, the president budgets slashes funds by more than $1.5 trillion. taking a wrecking ball to america's economic future and security. at the same time it extends expiring provisions of the 2017 gop tax law adding more than $1 trillion to the debt. a reality the president was unable to hide even with his fantasy growth projections. this president is asking working americans to sacrifice their safety, health, economic security, their futures to cover
the cost of republicans' tax scam. it was never going to pay for itself. while i have come to expect shocking and unthinkable budget cuts from this administration, it never gets any easier to see our president's disregard for the human cost of his budget. thankfully, with a budget already in place for 2020 and 2021, and the senate majority leader reaffirming his commitment to the bipartisan act of 2019, i'm confident congress will stand firm against the president's warped vision for our nation's future. for obvious reasons there's a lot of interest in your presence here today, director. this is the first time you've testified since president trump was impeached. i'm not going to rehash that process but a major finding of congress's investigations was that the administration broke federal law when omb failed to abide by the impoundment control act. that law falls within the jurisdiction of the budget committee. i think it is important that you speak to
omb's adherence to the ica today. as director, it is your responsibility, your obligation to make sure that omb is complete compliance with the ica and fully respects the constitution grants congress the power of the purse. i promise that this committee will continue its vigilance and not allow the president to unilaterally substitute this budget for the bipartisan budget already in place, and i keep my promises. i look forward to hearing your testimony and i yield five minutes to the ranking member. >> i thank the chairman for holding the meeting and thank you acting director vought for being with us today. we're here to examine the president's budget request for fiscal '21. it's my hope that we will stay on task. i applaud the president for actually doing a budget. here in the house the budget committee hasn't provided a budget. interesting to me
because our committee majority's website, there's a section titled responsibility. and the first sentence in the section reads the committee's chief responsibility is to draft an annual concurrent resolution on the budget that provides a congressional framework for spending and revenue levels. the federal surplus or deficit and public debt. as we all know, the constitution gives congress the power of the purse, funding the priorities of the american people while addressing our nation's serious fiscal challenges is no easy task. it requires a lot of collaboration which is why hearing from the administration today is vitally important. in recent months we've heard from the likes of the congressional budget office, just yesterday from the federal reserve and many other outside experts who have consistently warned that our nation is nearing a fiscal crisis. we ought to pay attention to the warnings. the national debt is over $23 trillion. it's projected to grow to more than $36 trillion in more than a
-- within a decade. it will reach the highest level in american history as the percentage of the economy. it's projected by 2019, the federal debt will equal almost $1 million per family of four. from there it only grows more. interest payments on the debt will increasingly crowd out other federal spending. it is directed toward programs that americans rely on. cbo projects interest payments on the debt will amount to 382 billion in fiscal we cannot continue on 20. this path. we have to lead by example. we have to make the tough choices necessary to reverse course. yet here we are, the greatest nation in the history of the world, and we can't even manage to come up with something as simple as a budget. but the president is doing his duty and has put forward a budget that takes
steps in the right direction. i recognize that there will be others that will push back on his plan but at least we have a plan to look at. the budget does not achieve balance within ten years, but the overall ten-year fiscal trajectory puts the budget on a path to balance by 2035. the president's budget reduces deficits by $4.6 trillion between 2021 and 2030. under current law deficits are more than a trillion dollars annually, and under this proposal, the annual deficit would be lowered to 261 billion by 2030. this reduces the share of debt from 81% of gdp to 66% of gdp. that i like that direction. that's an improvement from the high levels projected for 2030 under current law. the president's budget does not breach the spending caps called for in the bipartisan budget act of 2019. it meets the defense spending cap and is below the
nondefense discretionary cap by 37 billion for fiscal '21. as someone who served in the military, i believe ensuring the safety and security of the american people is probably our most fundamental purpose of the federal government. i appreciate the trump administration's clear commitment to this responsibility. second, i also appreciate the administration's focus on this budget on improving long-term health of the american people by investing in measures to combat the opioid epidemic that is crippling communities across the country. we've heard in this room many times our economy is strong. the number of jobs available exceeds the number of people looking for work by a million. we must ensure that our work force meets the demands of our strong economy which is why i'm pleased the administration is investing in career and technical education. as i said before, the biggest threat to all these priorities
and to the long-term security of our nation is our out of control mandatory spending. it accounts for 70% of all federal spending and is projected to increase to 76% according to cbo 2029. these programs have outgrown their intended size and scope and exceeded what we can afford. we cannot have a real conversation about reducing the deficits and debt without addressing mandatory spending. the president's budget takes steps in the right direction. it's important we work together to advance the budget that funds our nation's important priorities while acknowledging our fiscal challenges. i look forward to the discussion today. i thank the chairman. i yield back the balance of my time. >> i thank the gentleman for his opening statement. now once again, welcome, acting director vought. you have the floor. and you have five minutes for your prepared statement. >> thank you. chairman and
ranking members of the budget committee, i'm here today to does the budget for 2020 which we titled a budget for america's future. this is a budget that reflects and builds upon the economic policies of this president which have unleashed one of the most powerful economies in american history. unemployment is down across the board. people are coming back into the work force. wages are rising. pensions and college savings accounts are growing. this budget continues these economic policies and once again provides a path for enduring economic expansion by tacking the very real problem of deficits in our nation's debt. the plan offered today proposes to balance the budget within 15 years by proposing more deficit reduction, 4 .6 trillion, than any president in history. under
this budget, of trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see will be reduced to 261 billion in 2030 with a surplus in 2035. debt as a percentage of gdp currently at 81% and projected to grow to 100% within ten years will drop to 66% by the end of the ten-year window. but this budget is not a green eye shades budget. it funds national priorities that this administration believes are vital for the security and prosperity of the american people. let me give you a few examples. $741 billion for the defense of this country. this amount comes on the heals of defense budgets of 716,000,000,738 billion in prior nears. nuclear modernization will receive a 20 % increase from the last fiscal year. at the same time it reflects an assumption that our overseas operations will require less funding as the president works to end endless wars. the budget also makes substantial investments in border security
and immigration enforcement. ensures that every high school has a high quality career and technical education program. funds nasa's return to the moon by 2024 as a platform to mars and thereafter and grows va medical care at 13% to fully fund the mission act. it includes substantial resources to fight against the opioid epidemic and proposes a $1 trillion infrastructure package to rebuild our roads and bridges. it also keeps the promises that president trump has made to the american people such as protecting social security and medicare for seniors. this president is a promises made, promises kept kind of president and this budget is no different. despite the predictable misleading claims by many across the other side. medicare will grow on average of 6% a year under this budget. the budget does propose good government reforms to lower drug prices, root out improper
payments and address wasteful spending. this budget proposes to remove from medicare certain programs such as uncompensated care and graduate medical education which are draining the medicare trust fund even though they benefit more than just seniors. to be clear, these programs would be funded outside of medicare, but with reforms to limit their growth. similarly this budget proposes payment site neutrality for the same service being performed as a different health care location. a cat scan costs the same as an outpatient hospital as it does at the physician office. lowering the cost of health care is not a cut. medicaid will grow at 3% which is higher than the rate of inflation. but the program has $57 billion in improper payments last year, and hhs lacks the statutory tools to recoop most of the costs. the budget would provide authority while giving the states options
of a block grant or per capita payment. the budget proposes other common sense mapd tory savers such as a universal work requirement for medicaid, housing and food stamps. this will ensure that we are helping to lift able bodied adults without dependence off of a cycle of dependency and onto a ladder of economic opportunity. in terms of discretionary spending, this bumgt proposes a reduction similar to previous budgets. while budgeting at a defense cap under current law, this budget proposes a 5% cut. this budget continues to be a statement from this president and his administration that we stand with families and businesses across the country who have to balance their budgets. washington d.c. does not stand with them, and for too long has operated under a different principle of recklessly spending other
people's money. that has to change and hopefully this budget leads to it. i'm ready to take your questions. chairman yarmuth: thank you, mr. vought, for your opening statement. we will begin our question and answer session now. as a reminder, members may submit written questions to be answered later this writing. those questions and mr. vought's answers will be made part of the formal hearing record. any members who wish to submit questions for the record may do so within seven days. we will defer our questions until the end of the hearing. and i recognize the vice chairman of the committee from massachusetts for five minutes. moulton: thank you very much for being here today. i want to address my questions to the president's claim that this budget is good for national security. for national defense. i find that a little bit hard to believe when it conflicts so directly with the advice that he has been given by his own generals. and as co-chair of the future defense task force on the house armed services committee, i'm particularly concerned about
the investments that china is making in rnd to develop a new generation of weapons that we are failing to match. do you recall how we responded to the sputnik moment in 1957? >> we increased our national investment to make sure we were prepared for our adversaries. >> right, and where did we increase the investments? >> we increased them in the research and development. >> specifically in graduate school education. and yet, this budget proposes a limited subsidized student loans. it cuts 8 % on the department of education. how does that meet our next generation defense needs if we're not doing this basic rnd, if we're not investing in the people who will make the new discoveries essential for our national defense? >> we believe we are investing in our people in this budget. we believe that we are making significant reforms to education as a result of this budget. for
instance, there's a new proposal, an education block grant to take 30 different programs that we believe can be better reformed and give states more flexibility to have better outcomes, and they know their people and their schools and communities better. that's an example where we think for basically the same amount of money when you control for the fact that we're eliminating certain programs that are wasteful for the same amount of money that you appropriated last year, we'll have better outcomes at the state level in the area of education. >> at its best, you're saying we'll have the same amount of money when the president claims we're actually investing more? but what i would suggest is maybe you make the reforms first and show how you can save the money before you cut 8% from the department of education. because that is not going to help us prepare for a new generation of threats. let me give you another example. congress and president johnson came together and established darpa to a deal with a new generation of defense. the kinds of things that in the 19
of 0 1960s are analogous to -- in today's dollars, that's $4,500 million. the president's budget proposes a total of $459 million in defense airnd. 459 million compared with we're not 450. meeting this threat. -- compared to we're not meeting 4500. this threat. >> we believe we've got a substantial investment, particularly in the area of ai and in quantum. >> it's substantial unless you look at what the competition is doing. general mattis said if you don't fund the state department fully, i need to buy more ammunition. admiral mike mullen, chairman of the joint
chiefs of staff said more money in development is needed not less. why does this cut the state department by 21%? >> because there's a difference between diplomacy which we fully fund and on aid which we think we have gone on too long with providing -- >> i was just in vietnam. i was just in vietnam two weeks ago. it's become a critical ally in the growing economic competition with china. i heard from our officers they want to be with us, not with authoritarian im. but our diplomatic and development effort is not keeping pace with china's belt and road initiative. they're asking for more development money. our military officers on the ground. you're doing the
opposite. i mean, does president trump know more than our military officer on the ground? more than general mattis and admiral mullmullen? -- admiral mullen? >> we tripled the funding for the -- so we can compete with china. we have a strategy in which countries in which you've mentioned would benefit. we think it's time we get out of the situation where we pay for statutes to bob dylan and other wasteful spending. -- statues to bob dylan and other wasteful spending. >> i think the president ought to spend some time on the ground in vietnam. i know he doesn't believe in that personally. he was happy to send someone else in his place. but it might teach him a little bit about what development and diplomacy does for our military. >> gentleman's time expired. i now recognize the gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson. >> thank you. sometimes these lines of questioning just appear to me to be very uninformed. when did the sputnik challenge occur? >> late 50s, early 60s.
>> when did we put a man on the moon? >> late 60s. >> when did the department of education come into being? >> late 70s. >> yeah. seems to me we're pretty smart people. we learned how to solve a lot of problems. the lightbulb, nuclear energy, space travel, overcoming the soviet threat. and we did it without help from washington bureaucrats on how to educate our kids. i applaud what the president is doing. mr. vought, thanks for being here today. we saw the president's budget. it's a first important step in addressing the federal spending issue. i look forward to discussing the president's budget, and i hope working with my colleagues here to address our nation's unsustainable fiscal path in ensuring our economy remains strong. over the last few days i've heard a lot of criticism from my democratic colleagues about the president's
budget. how it is a blueprint for destroying america and how budgets are a reflection of our values, even the speaker of the house has said the budget is a statement of our values. i find these statements ironic and quite frankly hypocritical if my colleagues truly believe that a budget is a reflection of our values, then they should produce a budget proposal of their own. why is this the second year that the house democrats have not produced a budget? why did they not produce a budget the last time they had control of the house? if as they say, it is a reflection of our values? i don't get that. one of my democrat colleagues even called the president's budget proposal a declaration of war on the american dream. i would like to respectfully remind my colleagues that the president's budget proposal is just that, a proposal. and i'm grateful that the president's budget is forcing us to have a discussion that many of my colleagues don't want to have. there is no
question that federal spending is out of control. medicare and social security are on a path to insolvency and our congressional budget process is broken. as members of this committee, we must come together and find a bipartisan solution to solve these critical problems. the president submitted his budget to congress. now it's time for congress to produce a budget. today, we are here to discuss the president's 2021 budget proposal. it includes reforms of mand tear spending programs, key -- mandatory spending programs, key investments in national security funding and a commitment to eradicate waste in government spending. more importantly, it provides for important investments in rural america. a region of the country that i represent. as a representative of rural eastern and south eastern ohio, i'm happy to see that the president's budget is investing in rural communities. communities that are facing serious challenges like the need for rural broad band and greater access to health care. mr.
vought, can you tell me and our colleagues how the president's budget is investing in rural america specifically, how it invests in telecommunications --nfrastructure telecommunications infrastructure to better provide better access to broad band in rural states? >> thank you. i would draw your attention to two things in particular. number one, the infrastructure package as a whole is something that we believe is going to have a substantial investment in rural america. that infrastructure package is a ten-year reauthorization at higher levels of the current formula for highway spending, but it also includes $190 billion surge to be able to deal with nationally significant areas, rural america, broad brand, things of that nature. we continue to provide high levels of funding for the broad band initiative at the department of agriculture.
we have a $250 million investment this year. that's on top of about $1.8 billion sitting there waiting to be spent of carryover. we're providing as much money as can be spent in that important area. >> you know, the last week we passed legislation here in the house to repeal the prefunding mandate that's cost the postal service an average of 5.4 billion postal service in rural america is another very, very important service that our people need. can you discuss how the budget, the president's budget helps put the postal service on a sustainable path to avoid a taxpayer bailout and protect the benefits earned by postal workers? >> yeah. it's something we've considered in previous budgeted. it's reflected in this. at the high level we want to make sure the post office has while maintaining service to rural america, we want to be able to give them the tools that are
necessary to cut costs and to have flexibility to operate as much as a normal business as possible. if you look at postal reform over the last 30 or 40 years, the hope was that the post office in the 1970s, early in the 1970s would be freed up to become as close to operating as a business as possible. unfortunately, that has not been the case. to the extent that there have been bailouts, that's been unfortunate. we're trying to continue to put reforms included in this budget to be able to get them on a better firm foundation going forward. >> thank you. and mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the gentleman's time expired. i now recognize the gentleman from new york. >> thank you, distinguished chair for your leadership and for yielding. mr. vought, prior to --you assuming your current position, you were a conservative political operative. is that right? >> i both worked on capitol hill in this committee. i grew up
professionally working for a number of the members who served on this committee as a budget staffer and i have a great fondness and affection for this place. i also did work at the heritage foundation in getting people involved in the political process. >> as vice president of heritage action, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> and that's the political wing of the heritage foundation. >> it gets people involved in the political process. >> i am interested in trying to reconcile the public statements that president trump has made relative to his budget and policy priorities versus what's actually in the document that he submitted to this congress. on february 8th, president trump tweeted we will not be touching your social security or medicare in fiscal 2021 budget. is that correct? >> he did say that. >> but the 2021 budget would result in a $500 billion cut to medicare over a ten-year period. true? >> that is not true. it does not
cut medicare or medicaid. >> okay. if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck. it's a $500 billion cut to medicare over a ten-year period of time. now, the president's budget also cuts social security disability by $24 billion. true? >> the budget has reforms to the disability insurance program to ensure people are getting off a cycle of dependency and getting back to the work force when they can get jobs in the national economy. >> and that would result in a 24 billion cut. correct? >> we don't believe it will be a cut. we believe there are savings to be had from getting people back to work. it's also $7 billion of improper payments in the disability insurance program. that is reflected in our budget, there's no cuts. >> if we can stick to facts as opposed to alternate facts, that would be helpful. the president stated i have made an ironclad
pledge to american families, we will always protect patients with preexisting conditions. did he make that statement? >> he did, and he believes it. >> there's nothing in the 2021 budget that protects individuals with preexisting conditions. true? >> there is a health care allowance that reflects a future proposal. it does not reflected in the budget to the degree of specificity but this president has proposed continues to propose that -- >> reclaiming my time. let me ask a question with precision. does this budget support the repeal of the affordable care act? >> the budget has a series -- >> yes or no? >> the budget has a series of reforms with regard to health care reform that tackle some of the drivers. some of which were created as a result of the obama care law that was passed ten years ago. but we believe medicaid will continue to grow at 3% and medicare will grow at 6%. >> is the president currently in court through his department of justice supporting the repeal of the affordable care act as unconstitutional? yes or no.
>> the justice department is involved. our view is that we want the court to work its will on a law that's long been viewed as unconstitutional. but that doesn't mean that no matter what happens in the court that this administration won't respond with a clear repeal and replace piece of legislation as we have had specifics in previous budgets. >> right. there's nothing in this budget that proposes a replacement for the affordable care act that the trump department of justice is trying to declare unconstitutional. >> that's not true. there is a health care allowance that is meant to look forward to a repeal and replace piece of legislation that fully protects individuals with preexisting conditions. >> okay. that's inaccurate, but let's move on. >> president trump repeated a campaign promise recently that mexico would be paying for the wall on the southern border. he says mexico, is, in fact, you will soon find out, paying for the wall.
>> he has made that statement. i think if you look at the mention -- what mexico is doing does . >> your budget propose $2 billion in american taxpayer money for the border wall along the u.s./mexico border? >> it continues to propose money for the border wall along the southern border. we believe mexico is doing a tremendous job in helping us deal with the apprehensions along the southern border. unfortunately, they've had to step up -- >> reclaiming my time. simply, the president's budget is a living, breathing, fact check on all of the public lies that he's told relative to his policy priorities. and that's shameful. i yield back. i recognize the gentleman from missouri, mr. smith for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you acting chairman --
director for being here. let's look at some facts quick. i was reminded listening to my colleague ask a few questions, you're a budget acting director. i think of the number 302. 302. what do you think that is? do you have any idea? >> i don't know if it's a trick question but i think of it in terms of allocation. that's maybe because i'm from this committee. >> no. it is how many days have expired since the democrats have failed to produce a budget from last year. 302 days ago congress was supposed to pass a budget. we didn't pass a budget. but you know what? 63 is another number we need to pay attention to. that's how many days we have to pass this year's budget. let's see if we can do either one of them. you work for a gentleman
who has presented a budget every year that he was required to present. i serve with the democrats who have failed to even file a budget since they have been in the majority. every year that the republicans were in control, we passed a budget out of this very committee. in fact, the republicans have a budget right now. the president submitted a budget. just file a budget. just put it on paper. it's so funny. i laughed. start of this week. the leader of the house democrats, speaker pelosi, reiterated on twitter on sunday, the budget is a statement of your values. just sunday. the budget is a statement of our values. yesterday, in a press conference, she says it's the
heart and it's the beginning of all things that start out in congress. well, i guess we can't start because the other side can't file a budget. just file a budget. show us your values. your speaker says that a budget is a statement of your values. i just wonder. i mean, don't they have values? don't they have initiatives? maybe it's because they don't want the american public to know exactly what their plans are. what their proposals are. what their budget is. more than half of the democrats on this very committee are sponsors of the green new deal and medicare for all. that needs to be in your budget if you had a budget. but guess
what? that would cost over $120 trillion. that's why you can't get a budget. because you don't want the american people to see how out of touch you are. since our country has been around our national debt is 22 trillion and growing. just their two main proposals that they are campaigning on in new hampshire and iowa and now south carolina costs more than $120 trillion. the american people are onto you. that's why you won't file a budget. we serve on this budget committee. i want to see your values if you have them. so mr. vought, don't you think that this committee should present a budget and pass it so it can go on to the floor of the house? >> i do. it honestly saddens me to the extent that the house of representatives have stopped doing budget resolutions. when i
was serving in this important body, that was something that was a staple every year. that -- the majority or the minority would put forward alternatives that we have debated in march. we'd be able to see where do the members of this chamber put their values? >> we need to see the values. >> i want to tie onto something that was asked to you in the prior questioning about preexisting conditions. the president was very clear. he's very clear every time he speaks at a rally that he wants to protect preexisting conditions. just because you want to repeal obama care and replace it with effective health care legislation, you can do that and we will do that by protecting people with preexisting conditions. it's not an all or nothing approach. we want to get rid of the garbage of obama care and replace it with a great health care plan that protects preexisting conditions. thank you for being here.
>> gentleman's time expired. i now recognize the gentleman from new york for five minutes. >> for the record, there is only one federal law that protects people with preexisting conditions. it's the affordable care act. the president is trying to gut the affordable care act through the courts. if he succeeds, there will be no law existing that protects people with preexisting conditions. that is a fact. sir, in 2017 with the tax cut and jobs act, we were told in a letter by the white house council of economic advisers that the result of that action would yield 4,000 to $9,000 per american household on a recurring basis. has that occurred and will it occur? >> since the president took office, we've had $6,000 in disposable income for families
on average. so far from the tax cut, only a few years in we're at $2,000 at disposable income. that's a substantial savings of people being able to keep their own hard-earned money. >> is it 6,000 or 2,000? >> it's 6,000 is the disposable income from the economic boom. >> i don't understand that. >> it's 6,000 since the president took office. there are many things that's contributing to the economic boom that we've seen. everything from the deregulatory initiative to investment confidence in the economy. these are leading to real results in people's pocketbooks. of the tax cut alone, $2000 is what has materialized thus far. we believe it's going to get up to the $4,000 level for sure. >> what about the 4,000 to 9,000 recurring every year? >> we believe there will be significant savings along those lines. >> i don't believe it. i don't believe you. we were
also told the tax cuts would pay for themselves. are they? >> we are on track for the economic agenda of this president to pay for the cost of this tax cut. and that's the fully loaded cost of both the original score from cbo. that's the cost of the extension, and that's the debt service cost. >> are you familiar with the economist, mark zandi? >> i am. >> would you characterize him as a conservative economist? >> not really. >> did he advise democrats or republicans? generally viewed as a credible conservative economist. he had said that the tax cuts of 2017 for every dollar you give away, you can hope to reclaim $0.32. that's a 68% loss on investment. so tax
cuts don't pay for themselves. and because tax cuts don't pay for themselves, we went from an annual budget deficit of $600 billion to more than a trillion dollars. and it's projected that we will take in $1 trillion less than we spend for this year and the outyears moving forward. under -- because tax cuts don't pay for themselves, in the 36 months of this presidency, there's an increase in $3 trillion to the national debt. that's because tax cuts don't pay for themselves. because tax cuts don't pay for themselves, you have a medicare cut of $756 billion over ten years. you have a social security cut of $24 billion. you have a medicaid cut of $920 billion. cancer research has been cut. the community development black grant program has been eliminated. the national unendowment for the arts and humanities is eliminated. low energy income assistance eliminated.
educational grants eliminated. you brought up infrastructure. your infrastructure program is weak and pathetic. the president promised a $2 trillion infrastructure bill. what we need to do -- that's equivalent equivalent to what we spent rebuilding the roads and bridges in iraq and afghanistan. those nations are approximately 35 million people. everything we build for them, they destroy. we should nation build at home. so i would encourage you to encourage the president to fulfill the obligation that we made to to do a 2 trillion infrastructure bill. it's not just the bricks and mortar of infrastructure. it's the growth that would occur, because the same economists that i referred before mark zandy, a , conservative economist, it said that for every dollar that you spend in infrastructure, you can expect to recapture in future economic growth about
1.60. the return on investment for infrastructure investment is about 60%. i would encourage you to review the infrastructure proposal here and consider making changes. with that i yield back. >> the gentleman's time expired. i recognize the gentleman from utah for five minutes. andhank you mr. chairman acting director, thank you for being here. thank you for what's clearly a tough job. i'm going to quote something. i think everyone will recognize it. theodore roosevelt said it is not the critic who counts nor where the doer of deeds could have done better. the credit belongs to he who is in the arena. for heaven's sakes. it's easy to sit upon here and criticize an effort, but if you're not doing that thing yourself, then you have no
position. you have no authority in a real way to criticize the effort of this president. if you don't have a budget, you haven't stated your values. again, it's easy to sit up here and criticize and peck like a chicken along the ground. but that's all you're doing. because you haven't done the work. you're not in the arena saying what you all would do. you're sitting on the sidelines and criticizing what others have done. you know, there's one other thing. the budget -- it's a serious effort. it should be bipartisan or at least as much as it can be, and i get it. i understand there's a debate over the issues and there always has been and probably always will be. we all i think can agree we're trying to do the same thing. we're trying to provide for our national defense. for equal justice and for the common good, and again, i get it. the debate over those details can be contentious, but when the language is so over the top, and it's so contentious, most americans don't believe it. if you accuse a president of actually targeting senior citizens as if he hates them and wants to deliberately hurt them, most americans don't believe
that. if you accuse a president of targeting the poorest and the most vulnerable among us, as if the president hates them and actually wants to deliberately hurt them, most americans don't believe that. and when you couch every detail or every disagreement as if it's a lie, or if t pathetic, most americans think that's incredibly divisive and they don't accept it. and that's much of what we've heard here today. from those who won't do the work themselves who sit on the sidelines and criticize and say things so over the top and outrageous, most americans think i don't think that sounds true to me. i don't think the president actually wants to hurt the poor and the elderly. now, maybe if you just hate the president so badly you actually believe that stuff, there's a few people who do that. some of them are sitting up here. but most americans don't feel that way. i'd like to ask you
something now regarding -- and i think this is a key to most of what you're presenting here today. we spend $800 billion annually on more than 90 anti-poverty programs. what is the measure of success? how do we know if we're doing a good job at that? is it by how much money we spend? have we done better if we were enrolled more and more and more people on these programs? or is it better for us to measure that by saying hey, you know what? we've provided jobs for people? we've provided an access for them into the middle class lifting them out of poverty and allowing them a ladder forward? mr. vought, how should we measure the success of the programs, the $800 million we spend? >> we believe in outcomes. we believe in measuring what we're doing based on the results that they have as opposed to figuring out how much from year to year we're spending as a dollar amount. washington d.c. often
wants to say what's the dollar amount and makes that the value for how you're doing with regard to your commitment, but i would take an example of education, for instance, and respond to an earlier question and say we're providing $50 billion in tax incentives for additional education at the state level in addition to what we're providing for the department of education. we believe that's a reflection of our values as well. but if you look at it from a green eye shades perspective in d.c., it's just a revenue reduction. and it's anything but that. that is the point i think the success of these programs should be determined by americans graduating off these programs. providing an economy where they have the dignity of work and the self-satisfaction that comes from improving their lives rather than just the dependence on the federal government.
sometimes generational. and my time is almost up, and i will continue with those who, again, aren't in the arena, haven't put a budget forward themselves, and they will continue to criticize you and the president for the work that you've done. but we're grateful for that, and the american people are dwratful as well. thank you. >> the gentleman's time expired. i now recognize the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. boyle. >> thank you for being here. and thank you, mr. chairman. here we go again. a couple years ago, three years ago now, we sat here debating the massive republican tax cut. a number of us on the this side of the aisle pointed out that this was actually step one in a three step plan. step one, cut taxes mostly for the top 1% to the tune of 1.5 to $2 trillion. that would spike the deficit, spike the debt. and then step three, this white house and republican friends would come back, say my god, there's a deficit, and a huge
debt problem. we need to cut social security, medicare and medicaid. step one happened. the massive trump tax cut, 83% of which went to the wealthnest 1%, was passed. step two is happening. we have the fastest growing deficit and expanding economy in american history. and now here we are with step three, massive cuts to social security, medicare, medicaid, education, snap, transportation funding, et cetera. i want to focus, since a number of my colleagues have focused on the massive cuts to social security, medicare and medicaid, since i am co-chairman of the public loan forgiveness program caucus, i do want to focus on that program specifically. but first before i get to that, just in terms of student loan spending generally, let me read from a report from cnbc just yesterday. quote, as
student debt continues to climb, president trump on monday released a budget for 2021 that would slash many of the programs aimed at helping borrowers. student loan spending would be cut by $170 billion in trump's plan. one of those areas that would be cut, forget cut, eliminated is the public service loan forgiveness program. this was a bipartisan achievement actually signed into law in 2007 by george w. bush. how in the world does cutting student loans by $170 billion and eliminating the public service loan forgiveness program in any way help families afford and pay for college? bearing in mind that right now we just hit the overall mark of $1.7 trillion in
total debt in terms of all of the student loans owed by every american combined. that is a major threat to our economy. so here is a budget that would take that situation and make it far worse. >> it's totally untrue, congressman. >> reclaiming my time, the cnbc report is untrue about cutting $170 billion? >> there are savings for consolidating programs. >> savings. program.ne new >> most normal americans would call a cut. >> no, because we're replacing it with an income driven debt repayment plan. >> reclaiming my time since we're limited. for those at home anytime anyone from washington talks about savings, hold on to your wallet. the savings are coming from you. let me specifically focus though back to the public service loan forgive necessary program. i mentioned that i am co-chair, i
have a republican co-chair, mr. joyce of ohio. this is a program that has had bipartisan support going back to its beginning in 2007. why did you decide to just flatout eliminate it? >> because we don't want to pick winners and losers and we were replacing it with an income driven repayment plan that the president has had in every single one of his plans. >> reclaiming my time, what do you think this will do to those who have decided to enter public service, who forgo higher salary in the private sector, have taken on a ton of student debt, and now here you are eliminating the loan forgiveness program they signed up for? >> they'd be eligible for the new program we've been proposing for five years. >> finally with just 30 seconds left, let me say, it is true, a budget is a statement of one's priorities. we see the priorities of this
administration, massive tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% paid for by cuts to ordinary americans. i yield back. >> gentleman's time has expired. now recognize the gentleman from texas, mr. florez, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. vought, you didn't have a chance to respond. would you like to expand so the american people get the true story of what the president is proposing in terms of coming up with a more efficient, fair student loan program? >> happy to. put forward an income driven student repayment plan that would allow students after 15 years to have debt relief, but in that years they would pay a set amount towards debt repayment, at 12.5% of their income for 15 years and graduate students relief after 30 years. we consolidate a number of programs to be able to provide that program, and we
think it will lead to more simplicity for student borers borrowers who instead of having many different programs out there and trying to figure out the best one, we'd have an opportunity to have one simple 15-year debt relief plans for students. this is what the president ran on. it's been in every one of his budgets. >> in this particular situation , to address the claims that were made by the last questioner, if you had somebody that decided to go into public service and selected, you know, in a lower income level, then in that particular situation, this loan repayment plan would automatically address that? >> it would be eligible for this new plan. >> okay. one of the things that the president is proposed in this budget, and i think it's wise, because all the health care provides in my district, particularly the hospitals, have talked about the shortage of medical professionals. and so the president's budget proposes to pull graduate medical education out of the medicare part of the budget. can you
explain the logic for that? it sounds perfectly reasonable to me based on what i'm hearing from real-world america? >> sure. we're going to commit to graduate medical education but don't want the trust fund to be drawn down. we don't want to increase the insolvency. from a benefit that's far beyond today's seniors. it helps a vast majority of the country and hospitals across the nation. so this is an example where we take it out of medicare and we allow it to grow each and every year, just not at the same level of medical inflation. >> and then you've done the same thing with compensated care as well. the net result of both of these is to strengthen the medicare trust fund? >> absolutely. >> americans have that wrong, they're better off because of this because the president has taken two things that aren't part of medicare and pulled them out, and allowed medicare to be
more self-sustaining. i guess, you know, one of the things you hear is this word "cuts" a lot. what is the medicare spending level in the tenth year versus the near year? >> medicare will grow 6% on average each and every year in this president's budget. >> okay. >> there is no cuts to medicare whatsoever. >> so grow is not a cut. to the extent anybody uses this word "cut," when the dollars are higher in the out year than the inyear, they're not being truthful? >> that's correct. we extend it by at least ten years. we do have assumptions that will provide for lower prescription drugs. we thought it was a bipartisan priority to have better health care at lower costs. >> thanks for your answers to set the record state on these important issues. i yield back the balance of my time.
>> i now recognize the gentleman from california, mr. khanna, for five minutes. >> thank you. representative langoven yesterday at hask asked for people to testify about the president's defense budget. he was told that witnesses have been directed by you, explicitly not to speak to the president's budget request. this has never happened in the history of congress, whether it was president reagan, president bush. can you explain why you gave an illegal directive obstructing congress to tell witnesses not to testify? >> i didn't. >> are you claiming that your office did not give that directive? >> we typically like to have this omb testimony be the first testimony. so that may be what you're referring to. but in terms of not allowing agency heads to speak about the president's budget, that's not true. so, it's your testimony that
you completely are okay with having agency heads testify, and that the witnesses yesterday if they implied that you or omb had instructed them not to do so are lying? >> not lying. my gut is that they are reflecting the reality that we want the omb testimony here in the house budget committee to be the first set of testimony on behalf of the president's budget and then to let agency heads go from there. that's my guess. but the idea that we would not want agency heads to go to the hill and talk about the president's budget is not true. >> did you tell them at any time not to talk to the committees until you did? >> i'm sure we had communication with agencies along those lines, but i -- i certainly didn't. i'm sure as i've said, we provide guidance to the agencies that
says, we don't want agency heads to go up to the hill until we have an opportunity to come before this committee. >> going forward, now that you have, you will be completely fine with agency heads going to -- >> of course. it's a vital aspect of this process. >> in terms of the president wanting to lower drug costs, what is your view on hr bill 3, and whether that would do that? >> we have concerns with that piece of legislation. we put out a statement of administrative policy against it. we appreciate the desire, the intent to lower drug prices. but our counsel of economic advisers looked at that legislation and said it would lead to shutting down a third of the innovative drugs in the pipeline. cbo didn't have numbers quite as large as that, but they said there would be an impact on innovation. we want to get to the same place that you all are in terms of lowering prescription drugs. we would love to have a bill on the
president's desk. this is one of the bipartisan areas we would endeavor to pursue. it's one of the reasons -- in years past we've provided specificity. in this one we provide a general allowance to be able to have the house and senate work its will. >> does the president have a plan? he's rejecting our plan. has he offered a plan of what he would support? >> we've certainly offered plans in the past, things like having a price cap in medicare part b, reforming the part d plan to put a catastrophic path for seniors and change some of the disincentives. some are reflected in hr-3. but we are concerned to the extent we don't some of those proposals are reflected in hr-3. but we are concerned to the extent we don't want to fall on the other side of the balance of impacting innovation. i would say, as the father of a child that has cystic fibrosis and is about to go on to medication that is disease-halting, that kind of
ground-breaking innovative perception drugs is what we want to make sure future kids -- >> we all want to do that. hasnfrastructure, there been a sense that the president wants to work with us. we've gone -- the speaker has gone, the senator leader has gone, they agree on doing a infrastructure bill, and then two days later nothing happens because there's no agreement by the president on how to pay for it. we are going to be working on an infrastructure bill that the house democrats will propose. will the president be committed to actually passing it and offering pay fors through the senate? dir. vought: i think your question reveals the problem with where we are on infrastructure, which is that we want to pay for it by providing spending cuts and reforms. you all -- every time we try to have a conversation about infrastructure, the expectation is we're going to roll back the president's tax cut.
we are not going to do that. we're not going to have anything that raises taxes on this. >> let me have one quick follow-up. why wouldn't you be willing to fund infrastructure which would lead to 3% economic growth? you didn't have all pay fors on your tax cuts and the economists agree into structure would lead to growth. why doesn't the president commit he is going to do an infrastructure bill? dir. vought: he has committed. there is a trillion dollar infrastructure package in this budget resolution. it continues to be a priority. we've put forward savings along those lines. infrastructure has been something that's been paid for. but we are providing 4.4 in spending reductions and deficit reductions that could be used for potential pay-fors. >> the gentleman's time has expired. i now recognize the gentleman from south carolina, mr. norman. >> thank you for appearing today.
some of these comments i've sat here and listened to are really amazing. one that caught my eye was that my friends from the left are saying blueprint for financial disaster. do you live in a house? dir. vought: i do. >> i am a contractor. we build things. i am probably a deplorable, i drive pickups. what if i said i want to build your house, what would you ask for? and a blueprint. you would say, where is the blueprint? congressman stuart is an accomplished pilot. what if i came to him and i said i want you to learn to fly a plane. he would have a right to say what kind of plane? that's what my friends from the left are asking the american people to believe. we haven't had a budget in two and a half years. let me tell you some other things. they're proposing free medical care. put it on paper. what is the cost? unless doctors are willing to
work for free, which i don't think they are. free education has been mentioned. not goingd professors to get a salary? put it on paper. free housing i've heard. somebody has to pay for it. open borders, is one of the cuts -- and i just heard this yesterday. are one of the cuts that my so-called friends from the left are saying is if you come into this country and can't speak english, then you're disabled. have you heard that? dir. vought: it is one of the qualifying factors right now within the disability insurance program that we're trying to reform. >> how dumb is that? if you come into this country and can't speak english you're entitled to the benefits because you can't speak english. the american people are on to it. tax cuts don't pay for themselves. i think we've got a growing economy, the likes we haven't seen since this president took office. the previous eight years can't
boast the numbers we are boasting. that's code language the taxpayers are too dumb to spend their own money. let unelected bureaucrats and my liberal friends spend it for you. that's why you hear the socialist programs coming up. i applaud you for defending this budget. you've at least got a budget. i would ask for us, we've got 60-some days to come up with a budget on paper. defend what you're promising the american people, which they are simply not doing. could you go into some more -- you haven't been allowed to finish many of your answers. could you elaborate more on some of the -- they're claiming, as they always do, cuts in social security, gutting medicare, medicaid. can you go into examples of where this is untrue? dir. vought: sure. there are no cut to social security and medicare. the president's commitment to seniors is fully reflected in this budget. we reform medicare.
it grows at 6%. what we mean by reforms is lowering the cost of health care. $135 billion in savings from prescription drugs from lower costs to seniors. that shows up as savings, but it's not a cut. >> but they classify it as a cut. they don't want anything to change. that's why they're not putting it on paper. military, go into some of the dollars where it's being spent. because this is something really to brag about from the trump administration. dir. vought: fourth year of high defense spending, $741 billion fully consistent with the budget agreement that was recently asked. within that top line, we have a 20% increase to the nnsa to make sure nuclear modernization continues to be going forward on track. so we really went big in that area. we continue to have 44 new ships over the next five years within the defense program. we invest heavily with regard to r&d to make sure some of the
concerns, to compete with our adversaries, part -- are fully funded. this continues with the president promised to the american people, to rebuild our defenses. we want to make sure this continue to grow. >> it's called looking after the taxpayer's dollars. you're looking at them and everything as return on investment, what is the taxpayer getting for the dollars he is putting in? i applaud you for it. i don't think, as has been implied, granny is not going over the cliff. if we don't get ahold of this $22 trillion deficit, which is the cruelest tax on future generations, then we are leading our children and grandchildren over the cliff. it's unfair and unamerican. thank you for what you are doing. i yelled back. >> gentleman's time expired. i recognize the gentleman from north carolina for five minutes. >> welcome to the committee. i want to ask a quick question first to clear up a little of the rhetoric we've heard this morning, then turn to a more
substantive inquiry. the last year our republican friends were in the majority, 2018, did they or did they not bring a fiscal 2019 budget resolution to the house floor for a vote? dir. vought: i don't recall. >> the answer is no. the answer is no. it's critically important that we all recognize the influence that omb has, not only over the budget's president's request sent to the congress, but over the administration of funding that is provided by the congress. that's what i want to ask you about. i want to ask you about important investments in infrastructure and disaster assistance congress enacted and the president signed into law regarding puerto rico and other areas devastated by natural disasters. congress has already registered its frustration with the department of housing and urban development over repeated midst deadlines and a refusal to move this much-needed funding out the door. but this is not just about hud,
it is also about omb. as the director of omb, you are responsible for the prudent execution of these plans, and in fact you're required by law to make sure the funds are made available to hud. first, why are the demonstrated need for this funding in puerto rico and the virgin islands has omb refused to apportion the funding as immediately available for obligation? and secondly, hud has provided testimony saying that omb has purported to curtail their ability to even request this funding be made available to hud. is this true? have you done this at the president's direction with regard to puerto rico? omb has no authority in law or anywhere else to control what an agency requests. what an agency requests in the first place. do you disagree with that? dir. vought: with regard to
puerto rico, $90 million is projected to be spent to help them recover from the hurricanes from a few years ago. given the situation politically in that territory, where there's rampant corruption, you had an administration that had to resign, a governor that had to resign -- >> excuse me, but we have an inspector general's report, we don't have to rely on your word for it. is it not true that actually the finding came up that the administering agency in puerto rico was not rampant corruption, that they operated according to normal procedures? that is not what i am asking. i am not asking for your personal judgment about puerto rico, i asking about your am authority in the way you exercised your authority. these are very specific questions. dir. vought: we operate with agencies on funding notifications, with cdbg, we had to implement the statute which has never been authorized by congress.
congress appropriated a new statute for mitigation funding and left the agency on its own and said implement it however without any instruction. >> i am sorry, there are many programs not authorized. that is a red herring. dir. vought: not new ones at that level. >> we need a cdbg dr authorization. we're hoping that our friend mitch mcconnell will agree with that. we've passed it in the house. my question has to do with the testimony. let me move directly to that, the testimony of hud that you haven't authorized them to request the funding. this is duly appropriated funding, a bill signed by the president. >> we are apportioning everything hud needs to move forward with funding. we provided the initial $1.5 billion and an additional $2.5 billion for unmet needs. here is the issue, we don't want
this money to go to waste. we want it to help the people of puerto rico. we want to make sure that they don't all get it one lump sum and it overwhelms their political system where they had a governor that had to resign for corruption where fema finds undistributed -- >> has anybody remotely suggested you should hand the money in one lump sum? dir. vought: your question suggests -- >> no, it doesn't. these are statutory deadlines. it turns out when deadlines are missed, we put them in statute. there are ample, ample opportunities, checkpoints, for judgments to be made about letting this or that go forward. that's not what i'm asking you. i can asking you about what the theyeople tell us, that have had trouble getting authority to request the money from omb. and i'm looking for your what your authority is to do that.
dir. vought: i'm not going to get into the deliberative process. >> i'm not asking about your deliberative process. i'm asking about where this authority comes from? dir. vought: it comes from our apportionment statutes, the ability to make sure money is spent efficiently and economically, to make sure there are spend plans in place, and it comes from our authority to consider when there are notifications to be able to have new regulatory pronouncements that go out to make sure they go through a rigid fact-based process. >> i'm going to ask for the record a detailed account of your answer to my question with the citations of the authorities you are talking about. dir. vought: sure, happy to. >> gentleman's time expired. i know recognize the gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> thank you for representing the president and trying to stand up to actually put us on a path to some kind of fiscal responsibility and getting a budget that balances.
unfortunately my democratic colleagues want to sit and pontificate and do nothing and not do their job. thank you for being here. i appreciate it. is secretary mnuchin testifying this afternoon? >> he is. >> isn't it always the case that process starts after you come and start this process at omb? nothing to hide. do you know who said the following just this week, debt doesn't seem to matter as much right now. right now it's not an immediate concern. the size of the debt does not poll well. i don't see how that's a potent political issue. do you know who said that this week? dir. vought: i have a suspicion, but i would rather you answer the question. >> the chairman of this committee said that this week as quoted by fox news. do you agree that debt does not matter? >> absolutely not. i think this is one of the things that these budgets are meant to have a debate with the country about.
debt and deficits do matter. washington dc has been borrowing recklessly because of spending. i have heard you in this committee speak to the level of spending as a percent of gdp compared to where revenues are as a percentage of gdp. this would maintain revenues at their post world war ii historical average. the problem is on the spending. we need to get a handle on where we are spending. the easiest thing would be to say that debt and deficits don't matter, we don't want to balance. we actually say we're going to balance in 15 years. is $23.2tional debt trillion and growing. dir. vought: it is. >> we're racking up about $110 million per hour. dir. vought: that's correct. >> we're going to rack up more well might democratic colleagues demagogue instead of producing a budget? dir. vought: yes. >> chairman yarmouth said he is confident congress will stand firm against the president's budget. on this, i think the chairman is most certainly correct, and that
is unfortunate that we're not going to start with the president's budget and try to work with the president to do our job. that's unfortunate. congress always stands against any attempt whatsoever to spend responsibly. let me be clear. this is a bipartisan problem. let's look at this. in 2017, with respect to the president's ask, did congress spend more than what the president asked for in 2017? dir. vought: yes. >> did you all send up a budget that had a ten-year balance proposal in 2017? dir. vought: yes. >> and was it effectively laughed back to the other end of pennsylvania avenue from this body? dir. vought: it was not adopted. >> in 2018, was the president's ask that sent up did congress spend more and bust the caps? dir. vought: yes. >> in 2019, was the president's ask honored or did congress spent more? dir. vought: congress spent more. >> in 2020 with respect to the president's ask, did congress spend more and bust the caps by a lot? dir. vought: we spent more than the original budget that the president sent up. spent reset the caps and
to those higher levels? dir. vought: that's correct. >> do you agree this is a bipartisan problem if you look at that four years, that congress has not been didn't -- has not been doing its job to spend appropriately? i asked the cbo director whether we will be receiving the gdp the historic right, and he said -- rate, and he said yes. and we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. whatever the democrat colleagues want to say about tax cuts for the rich, the fact is we have revenues to the treasury consistent with historic norms, and will for the next decade, yet my democrat colleagues want to demagogue about spending and continue to spend more than we have? dir. vought: that's correct. >> so the key question, tax policy and regulatory policy to free up the american people to produce. with respect to the budget, we project 68% debt to gdp by the
end of the decade, correct? dir. vought: under this budget, we would go to 66% of gdp. >> but that relies on economic growth. can we get out of the mess without economic growth? dir. vought: no. this is an all of the above strategy. economic growth needs to be maintained. deficit spending through restraint needs to be maintained. >> we know my colleagues won't take this request seriously. they will tear it up like speaker pelosi tore up the state of the union. if we don't get ahold of the debt, the ball game is over. no money for defense, homeland security, social security. in the words of don meredith, turn out the lights. the party is over. thank you for sending up a budget we could start with. my democratic colleagues should honor that and work for the american people. >> the gentleman's time has expired. i will take this liberty to say that was my joke yesterday that
i tried to tear the budget in two. thank you for reiterating my joke. i now recognize the gentleman from new york for five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing today. thank you acting director vought. yesterday i received a copy, titled budget for america's future. inside as far as i can tell were countless proposals that in my view disregard the realities of our future. this budget, like all budgets, is a statement of priorities. but in my view, the priorities in this budget will harm the present and future needs of families across the nation. i apologize, i had to step out so didn't hear your testimony regarding savings. as i see this, a half trillion dollar cut to medicare and nearly a trillion dollar cut to
medicaid, reduction of foot stamps, the children's health program, which will jeopardize the livelihood of millions of citizens. from my perspective, the stark reality is the budget leaves many people wondering what sort of education their children will receive, uncertain where their next meal will come from. it lacks the kinds of investments that will make america stronger moving into the future. investing in families, education, infrastructure, i think are the things that have always been my priorities. i think the priorities of this country. and i want to ensure that the values of my community are represented in the voice of -- and the voice of working families are heard. last week i held a town hall. 500 senior citizens came, and most of them voiced their fears about the future of medicare and whether it would continue to provide support for them. the shortcomings of medicare, they talked about their struggles with prescription drugs, how health care costs continue to rise. i also spent time in the last two weeks visiting a number of
senior citizen centers and hear in-depth their real concern and fears about the future. so i'm very, very concerned about this. i apologize if i'm asking you to repeat yourself, but to tell me how you see savings and medicare where i see cuts. you describe how you envision that? i don't see any major reorganization. i don't see bending the cost curve by improving outcome or improving patient experience, the things we're trying to do. could you briefly, i don't have a lot of time. dir. vought: happy to. medicare will grow at 6% every year. one of the things that you mentioned in your question is that lowering the prescription -- the cost of prescription drugs, that's something that we assume is a savings. compared to years past, that generates savings, even though it will benefit beneficiaries and lead to better outcomes, as
you mentioned. that's $135 billion in savings simply by lowering prescription drugs. >> so in the prescription drugs, are you prepared to authorize medicare to negotiate lower prescription drugs as is done in most of the industrial world? dir. vought: no. we have opposed hr-3. that is a proposal we believe gets on the wrong side of the balance, to be able to cut off innovation currently in the pipeline. that said, we have proposed less specificity, even though past budgets have been very detailed in this space, because we want to work with congress and hope between the house and senate a bill can get to the president's desk. >> i will editorialize, every time i'm with folks that ask about prescription drugs. this is an alarming situation. every time we talk about the federal government using its ability, economies of scale and
force of medicare, people are struck by the idea we don't do it already. drunk formularies and medicaid, just about every commercial system beg for this. i don't understand why the administration -- i think the president in the past has voiced support for using medicare as a means of negotiating lower drug prices. i don't know what's changed, but i think there's been very little leadership from the white house on this, and americans, particularly senior citizens are crying for relief. if i can, let me just move to a completely different topic. my home district, rochester, new york has dealt with hundred year floods -- what would be deemed hundred year floods every other year. i met with the chair on the international joint commission. we expect record flooding in the great lakes again this year. one of the things that we are really relying on is resiliency studies for the great lakes that we hope the u.s. army corps of engineers will conduct.
billve an appropriation that the president signed to have funding for those studies. yet i note in this budget that the u.s. army corps of engineers and their ability to protect us and provide resiliency has their funding cut by 22%. i wish you could comment on that and how i can help assure people back home that the flooding they've seen, which is at record levels, is advantaged by significant cuts to the u.s. army corps of engineers? provided moree spending for the u.s. army corps of engineers in the last year's budget. it's something we continue to have challenges in the sense we want to provide infrastructure necessary in this space, but we also have concerns with how long it takes army corp of engineer to build projects. we want reforms in this area, and so our budgets have focused on making sure that projects that are in the -- occurring already get done before we go on to new projects. we're trying to address the backlog. >> i will issue this in my last
-- i think i am over. i apologize. just to say this, that the amount -- the hundreds of billions that you'll end up spending in disaster relief instead of providing much smaller amounts for resiliency i think we will come to regret. i hope there will be added emphasis on resiliency. i speak for the great lakes. i know people around the country and its waterways are concerned as well. i yield back my time. >> now recognize the gentleman from pennsylvania for five minutes. >> thank you for holding this republican -- this hearing. we all talk regularly and very daily in this committee and throughout the floor of congress about the unsustainable level of spending our nation is on. greatly appreciate and in fact applaud the administration and you for putting forth a budget that exercises fiscal restraint,
focuses on rooting out waste, abuse and fraud, eligibility requirements, as well as very targeted reforms, which we'll discuss here, and focuses funding on critical areas. as the former revenue secretary of the commonwealth of pennsylvania, we had to balance our budget each year, and we set forth on focusing on eligibility requirements, and over a two-year period, saved over $300 million from a $26.5 billion budget. that is 1.3% over a two year period. if we did that on the federal government side, that would be over $400 billion over a two-year period. certainly a wonderful start towards an infrastructure and transportation funding bill. so thank you for putting the focus there. also the focus is on defense spending. all anybody on this committee or in congress has to do, go over to the pentagon, whether democrat or republican, and hear
from them about how far behind we have fallen in cybersecurity in space. dangerous areas to fall behind. and this budget continues that growth. department of veterans affairs. this budget funds in a strong way the mission act and blue water navy act. which -- and veteran suicide issues. so thank you for that. skills training, extremely important for my state, my it district and our country. the country -- the budget puts over $2 billion toward training to get more people to work for 21st century jobs. and also block grants, a lot of experience here, the importance on how important block grants can be. most often states will gladly accept a small reduction in order to receive block grants so they can provide and have the flexibility to using funding and dollars how they feel best for their state.
would you agree block grants provide enormous more flexibility than the federal government would? dir. vought: absolutely. we allow states to have more control, design programs that are achieve better outcomes for their citizens. >> certainly stop thank you. -- certainly. thank you. now, regarding waste, abuse and fraud, relative to the enacted fiscal year 2020 levels, your budget reduces nondefense discretionally spending by 5%. is this reduction largely attributed to targeting reforms to reduce wasteful come ineffective, and duplicative programs as well as innovation and overall fiscal responsibility? dir. vought: absolutely. we find efficiencies where we can, outright waste where we can. i will give you an example. in cultural and state exchange programs, we have about $400 million savings in that area. there were over 80 programs is not particular space -- in that
particular space and they have more than doubled since the 2000s. given the global world we live in, do we really need such high levels of spending in that area or can we begin to ratchet it back? or clear waste, fraud and abuse where where you've got a professional cricket league in afghanistan. those allow you to really root the waste and the abuse out. >> great. reforms, not reductions. related to social security and medicare, the president's budget does not cut or reduce social security and medicare. that's accurate, correct? dir. vought: that is totally accurate. >> and the benefits and savings will be realized through these reforms that you're referring to, such as the site neutrality and lowering the cost of prescription drugs. >> take an example of a cat scan at an outpatient hospital for at aversus a cat scan
physician owned location that would cost $118. we believe that doesn't lead to a rational policy in medicare and leads to worse outcomes from beneficiaries, because you have providers referring to different locations based on a higher reimbursement as opposed to making sure it is the best from health-care perspective. that's substantial savings that allows us to save money for the taxpayer, have better outcomes for seniors, and continue to have medicare growing at 6% every year. >> great. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. i now recognize the gentlewoman from california, miss lee, for five minutes. >> thank you very much. thank you very much for being here. first of all, let me just respond to one of our colleagues who is not here now. when he referenced the fact that some of us over here hate the president. now, i'm speaking personally, i
want to say to you, i don't hate the president, but i hate his policies. and when you look at how these policies and this budget, how they're destroying millions of people's lives, it's a very shameful budget and it is something we need to hate. let me give you a couple of examples. you slashed more than $1 trillion in medicaid and medicare. you cut $182 billion in snap. you cut $20 billion from tanf. you dismantle and completely eliminate the social services block grant, that home investment partnership and the community grant, all programs that meet basic needs. it's hard to imagine how anyone could be proud of this budget, mr. director. someone mentioned the values. yeah, this demonstrates what the values of this administration are, and that's putting the tax
cuts for the wealthy billionaires, millionaires and corporations, paying for them through these cuts that you have put forth. those are the values. now, let me talk about waste, fraud, and abuse for a minute. you look at the pentagon's budget. dod has been on an unprecedented spending since 2001. this budget looks more like a wish list for defense contractors and a war hungry administration than something based in reality. the pentagon has increased their budget by $115 billion over the last three years. the pentagon cannot undergo a financial audit, which means we don't fully understand where the pentagon spends its money. there continue to be revelations of massive waste, fraud, and abuse at the pentagon. let me list a couple for you which reflects the values of this administration. the pentagon awarded a $7 million cloud computing contract
to a one person company. one person. the defense logistic agency lost track of $800 million in construction projects. national defense spending currently makes up 50% of discretionary spending, is that correct? dir. vought: roughly. >> and the defense department is the only agency that's not able to pass an audit or hasn't been able to pass an audit? dir. vought: i think it is a much more complicated story. this is the first time in history that the pentagon has undergone and completed and audit, and we've now gone through the second year of a completed audit, and we've reduced the number of issues that were identified by 25% in the first year. >> but we don't know what is being spent at the pentagon and we don't know -- at least you don't know what constitutes waste, fraud and abuse. we don't know if the right prices for contracts are being paid for. we don't know if the goals that
we set out with the funding that we provide -- >> we made consistent progress every year, 25% reductions in the items identified in the audit. i want to give you an example of the progress made. $6 billion in savings in the 2019. year 2020 -- isjected savings that dod doing the hard work to identify waste and redirect it to other programs in dod. >> you're telling me that you're not identifying any abuse or real contract fraud in your audit at all? dir. vought: i have not. i'm sure if you go look at some inspector general reports, there might be items there. to my knowledge, there's nothing in my mind. >> a couple years ago, there was a report issued by the pentagon that indicated there was about $150 billion that could be looked at in terms of waste,
fraud, and abuse. i don't see $150 billion in savings in any of your budgets so far. let me ask you, the cuts and development and diplomacy, following up from congressman moulton's question, in terms of the cuts by 22%, i heard what you said in terms of being a difference between diplomacy and foreign aid. but again, given the president's reference to countries in africa and south and central america as he called them s-hole countries, many of these countries -- many of these cuts reflect that value when it comes to development. we know that foreign aid is really a national security strategy to prevent terrorism, to prevent countries from engaging in warfare. we know that it really is a strategy for global peace and security. and yet your development is being cut by 22%, your development assistance. and yes, china is very active on
the continent of africa in many of the s-hole countries the president has identified. so once again, here we go, your values are definitely reflected in this budget. it's really a shame and disgrace that we're sending this message to countries in africa and in central and south america, who really do recognize the importance of foreign aid from the united states as being our strongest national security effort. >> the gentlelady's time has expired. i recognized the gentleman from tennessee. >> thank you for being here. i sit here and listen to the talk on both sides, and i honestly think about my sweet wife and my pretty little girl back home and kind of drift off into that. i thank you for being here, and i'll try not to become that crusty old white dude from either side of the aisle that just sits here and grumbles and
i will ask you a couple questions. i am not going after anybody. i do appreciate all of my members waiting to hear my comments as well. thank you. how does your budget plan to reduce and hopefully eliminate the waste of taxpayer dollars? dir. vought: we shine a light on a way we believe is historic. we have a whole chapter on waste, fraud, and abuse in this budget. it continues to be something that we work to root out within the top lines that are proposed here. we also want to make sure that we are dealing with inefficiencies and things that just don't make sense. when you own 25% of the federal -- of the land in this country, why do you keep spending on land acquisition? that's an example where we feel like, from a common sense perspective, we can find savings
in addition to waste, fraud and abuse, and be able to get at some of the inefficiencies of government. >> when you buy it, it takes it off the tax rolls. we did that in knox counties. we put it back on the tax rolls and made the economy that much better. i appreciate that. on a separate note, i appreciate the efforts this budget does for our veterans and what they do, and i appreciate our ranking members serving this country. what level of spending does the budget provide for veterans programs in fiscal year 2021 and how does that spending level compare to last year's funding level? dir. vought: we have a 13% increase for v.a. that's at $105 billion that fully funds the level that's required for the mission act. it is a very robust budget. this is a major investment in our nation's veterans to make sure that that important law keeps getting fully funded. last year's level was $93 billion. that gives you a sense of the increase that we're talking about here.
>> i think the ranking member or somebody said something earlier about the bob dillon artwork, and i actually had a piece of legislation that referenced that earlier on and understand that was consumed into a larger bill, so i was glad to see that out. i'm not against artwork, i have a degree in education and one of the areas i was certified in was art education, oddly enough. and i like art. and i like for my family to see it, like for my little girl to see it. but the stuff in these embassies was in back rooms for the embassy bigwigs to enjoy, and supposed to be representative of america. it was back behind a locked-in area and that money could have been spent better elsewhere. $80,000 for a piece of artwork does not seem like a lot to a washington bureaucrat, but in east tennessee, that's a lot of money. i appreciate your efforts, brother.
and i will relinquish the rest of my time so we can get back to more rhetoric. thank you, sir. >> the gentleman from tennessee is always generous with his time and helps us move it ahead. his time has expired. now recognize the gentleman from new jersey for five minutes. >> thank you very much. i just want to tell my colleague that i'm not a crusty old guy. you know, as i sit here, i have to say, you have all the lingo. you know, i wrote down some of these expressions to defend some of the issues. we are on track, commitment to seniors, fully continue saving into the programs. pretty good. and then i get attacked saying that we never do a budget. in your memory, did the republicans ever not do a budget in the last 14 years that i've been here? dir. vought: did they ever not do a budget? >> not do it, but introduce it
and pass the resolution? dir. vought: they did. when i was here, we were doing budgets every year. >> remember bush? >> many years under bush, we were doing budgets. it was one of the major must-pass pieces of legislation every year. >> was the war funded outside the budget? the war in iraq? dir. vought: i believe we were funding the war as that version of the account. budget, was outside the basically. dir. vought: it was a budget resolution that accounted for spending that was that version of the designation. it's not like it just gets ignored. >> it was outside the budget, the resolution. dir. vought: no, it's not. it's within the deficit totals that have to be added up over a course of five or ten years, whatever your window is. >> you know, one of the programs that i favor always is the cdgb programs.
and i think it's one of the ways where communities can really help their community and save money. because any time you use money from the cdgb, you're not passing it on basically to the local community tax. i just don't know if sometimes people here realize how many places you use the cdg money for to help seniors, to help centers, to help job growth, to help, you know, fix the streets. and yet every year we have to fight, because you just want to to -- want to cut it. i mean, this is one of the few programs that helps local communities at a time where money is short in these communities. so i never understand that. dir. vought: well, congressman, it's a program that we've spent about $150 billion on. we think there's too much flexibility within the program. >> that's the beauty of the
program. dir. vought: nearly a million dollars to spend on giving the greenwich historical society upgrades. i live 30 minutes away from greenwich, connecticut. they have more than enough resources as a rich community to pay for all of the historical upgrades. >> but there's also community using for meals on wheels and taking it to seniors that can't move. dgb money for that. dir. vought: it is minuscule. >> but communities do use it. dir. vought: meals on wheels is funded fully under the acl agency under the department of health and human service under this budget. >> i can tell you is we use cdgb money to do that. i was here when obama took over. how was the economy then? dir. vought: we were in the midst of a significant recession. fromremember paulson
financial services telling me the world was coming to an end, financial houses going under, all the windows are going under. in over eight years, did the obama administration create jobs? show less text 01:45:47 my -- >> my recommendation of the obama administration is that we lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs. >> i'm not talking about manufacturing jobs. where their jobs created during the obama administration by the end of his term? dir. vought: i can tell you based on what is started versus where it ended. i love the selective memory that you have. all i can tell you is this president in three years, you would think that he has done this wonderful thing, that it was never done before. jobs were created, growth was there, by the end of the obama administration.
and i got to put up with this nonsense that we somehow think we would do anything to save this country. we saved the auto industry, we saved aig. we save all of these banks, and yet he thinks he did it all by himself. you are good. you got all the right lingo. thank you very much. >> i now recognize the gentleman from oklahoma. >> thank you for being here. you is, this is just the facts, we ought to thank the president for keeping his promise to produce a budget. my friends on the other side of the aisle love to tear things down, sometimes tear things up. the president's work, but it seemed like the only thing we're getting done is arguing about something we need to work on. i would be to propose we never one have another hearing with anybody until we get our work
done, either side. i don't care who is in charge. our job, the first requirement we have in the constitution, much has been made about what the president has done with the constitution. i would tell you the first constitutional responsibility we have as a congress is the power of the purse, to produce a budget, regardless of who is in charge. my colleague from new jersey is right. we have a real opportunity. we shouldn't be here beating on the president about his budget because he's done his work and put something out there. i give the same advice to my employees and managers for the years. don't offer criticism without offering a solution. as i said, the constitution affords us the ability to create a budget, and we shouldn't be taking that lightly. you know, passing a budget resolution and subsequently passing the appropriation bill in regular order helps us rein in spending and debt. when you have revenue growing at 5% a year, expenses at 8% a year, i don't think anyone in
here thinks that a rational way to run a program, business, run your personal life. we have to get that in order. the sad fact is we have done such a poor job, by 2021, the united states will be spending more money on paying down debt than for our budgets of the department of veterans affair, justice, homeland security and nasa combined. that's pretty scary. because we've done a poor job of controlling our debt, we must borrow, only indebting our children and grandchildren as my colleague from south carolina said earlier. we're not throwing grandma off the cliff, we are throwing our future generations off the cliff. the national debt will become a national security threat if we don't get our fiscal house in order. for the record, do you agree with that statement? dir. vought: i believe we will face a national security disaster if we don't get our fiscal house in order. we need to be able to continue to increase defense spending,
but we have to get to the point of being able to deal with our debt and deficits. and former national security leaders like admiral mullin have said this on the record as well. >> and general mattis said this in the senate hearing. just to get some things on the record here, much has been said about the republicans in general about pre-existing conditions. fixingsident is for pre-existing conditions, is he not? dir. vought: he is for completely protecting individuals of preexisting conditions. he has never wavered that at any point. >> he reiterated that at the state of the union a few days ago. they claim that under trump, the average american is struggling. how do we know this is false? a poll last week that came out said 6 out of 10 americans are better off today than a year
ago. 75% said the economy is in good shape. a 20 year high. 90% of the people said they are satisfied with their personal life, from gallup. something who has never been favorable to this president. is there anything you want to add? justify thecomments economy is moving in the right direction? in terms of 10 million people getting off welfare, seeing people with thousands of dollars of new disposable income to be able to invest in their communities and families and charities. all of these things are signs of success. lowest rate of unemployment in 50 years. this is a sign of an economy that's booming, of people that are benefiting from it. you want to say look, how is the bottom half doing? to have had their income increased 47%. that is three times faster than the top 1%. we talk about it as a blue
collar boom. >> just as a reminder to everybody here today once you see this video, 1974 budget control act required we as congress start producing budgets to work with the president to fulfill that and reconcile it. we passed that budget four times so that we do not have continuing resolution. last time we did it in 1996. coincidentally that was the last time we had budget surpluses in america. we should start looking at that again instead of being political towards the president's budget. i yield back. >> i now recognize the gentleman from california. >> i have been around for four terms now, this is my fourth term. in the last term, my colleague was not here. the president led an effort to repeal the affordable care act, which is where the protections for preexisting conditions coverage came from.
today, that was not successful by the one vote of senator mccain. today his lawyers are agreeing with states trying to overturn the affordable care act. i have not seen a proposal from the president to take care of this idea. if there is a healthcare plan from president trump, i am looking forward to seeing it. saying that it is true does not make it true. i am just responding. i want to ask you about the budget though. what does the budget assume for real growth for the next 10 years? dir. vought: we would be at 3.1% and 2.8% in the last few years of the window. >> what is cbo is estimating the economy is going to grow at the same time? what is the federal reserve protection -- projection? dir. vought: i don't have the federal reserve with me. >> i have the nonpartisan cbo.
the federal reserve projecting 2% but the administration projecting 3%. what is the basis for that? >> it is a post-policy budget and economic assumptions. forecasters take the world as it exists. our budget is the fiscal plan for the next 10 to 15 years. it assumes things that will occur in our budget, such as extending the tax cuts. it assumes and infrastructure bill. it assumes better trade deals. when we get things done with canada and mexico, it does not sit in congress for a year waiting to be passed. these are all things lead us to be able to aspire and believe that we can get to 3% growth. >> last year, you projected the economy would grow at 3.2%, but instead we got 2.3%, which is quite a bit of fall off. i don't know if the testimony
you have from other people is that the tax bill did not have the growth the administration suggested it would bring. the would the deficit be if economy grew as forecasters believed? dir. vought: we would have a hard time right now trying to meet our target balance because it is an important part of our budget assumption. i would point you to the last four years of the obama administration, where the administration increased taxes. >> i did not ask you about that. dir. vought: $3 billion in revenue lost. >> we could have a lot of discussion about the revenue loss from the tax cuts of 2017. i am suggesting that the forecast you made in the past have been rosy. dir. vought: we have done better than the independent forecasters for the last three years. >> you got off by 50%.
let me ask you about foreign aid in my remaining time. former defense secretary mattis once said, if you don't fund the state department fully, then i need to buy more ammunition ultimately. i represent the military and i never voted against the military budget. i am concerned that by cutting the state department 20%, the lack of investment and diplomacy makes war more likely. i think not as of -- i think that is of great concern to people that i represent. can you explain if any analysis was done with the risks taken to calling the state department by 20%? dir. vought: you are referring to the state and foreign aid account that goes down 21%. we fund adequately diplomacy because we believe it is an important aspect of international relations. >> the department itself has
been cut by $11.7 billion. it is still a lot of money, right? dir. vought: it is a significant amount of money, we believe diplomacy understood is fully funded and what's required. we'll also say that within public diplomacy accounts, there is waste, fraud, and abuse that we attempt to reduce because we are trying to weed it out. >> can you give me an example? dir. vought: the bob dylan statue in mozambique. >> how much is that? >> it is about $1 million. dir. vought: only $11 billion to go in waste, fraud, and abuse. that is the problem. a professional cricket league in afghanistan. what about $4,800 for sending
american artists to a poetry festival? >> it would take you a lot to explain this massive cut to the leader of the free world. >> i recognize mr. crenshaw for five minutes. >> thank you for being here. you have received a lot of criticism over the president's budget. i am curious how it compares to speaker pelosi's budget? dir. vought: speaker pelosi does not have a budget. >> are you sure? dir. vought: i'm sure. >> how does it compare to this committee's budget? dir. vought: to my knowledge, this committee does not have a budget. >> that seems strange to me. the constitution says the budget is supposed to originate in the house and be signed by the president. you have not seen a budget that you can compare to the
president's budget? dir. vought: i have not seen one. >> huh. so interesting. lots of stones being casted and no actual values being proposed. i use that word carefully because nancy pelosi likes to say, show me your budget, show me your values. the implication is there is no values if you don't have a budget. you say that and the stones are cast in a way that would imply the president's budget is without values, without any moral character, because that's really the implication being thrown around. you don't spend enough money on this or that, how dare you, have you no heart? that is always the shame used. the moral grandstanding used to make the points. why is it that we have unending debt, unending growth and debt? because this body engages in nothing but moral shaming.
you don't have a heart if you are not willing to spend double or triple the money we are. never mind there is no thought put into the second consequences , no thought put into whether or not that money is being well spent, just moral shaming. why? because the end of the republic is when polliticians figure out when they can bribe the people with their own money. they do so by morally shaming their political opponents. want to understand why we're where we are at? that is exactly why. this committee is supposed to act like adults and set some kind of top line budget and make the appropriators work within that budget. you are telling me there is no budget coming out of this committee. that is a shame. that is what i thought i came on this committee to do was to have
those adult conversations and force actual choices. if you force choices, then maybe we can come to some agreement of what may need to be done, where money is being wasted, where do we need to invest? those conversations never happen and negotiations increasing on all fronts. that's not sustainable. this committee has to be the adult in the congress that says we can't spend that much money, it is not sustainable for our next generation. make the appropriators decides what to do with the money we give them. we are not doing that. instead, we are taking really easy but disingenuous political shots at the president's budget. why don't we actually debate within an adult-like top line of the budget what should be in the budget? that, becausedo
then you have to show your values. then you have to have to have an adult conversation. god forbid. would you like to clarify anything you did not get to clarify before? it seems like you wanted to talk about pre-existing conditions. dir. vought: i would love to. this president has fully committed to protecting individuals with preexisting conditions. he proposed specific policy in the past, including last year's budget where we had actual plan that was proposed in the budget that would have done so. this budget has a health care reform allowance that continues to maintain those protections for individuals with preexisting conditions. we don't have any specific proposal this year because we continue to work on it within the administration, but when we provide a specific plan just like the previous plans, it will for an ironclad commitment individuals with preexisting conditions. >> which i would agree we need.
it turns out if you are willing to engage in some kind of thinking other than totally simplistic, you can get rid of imagine that. you can do it. so glad to hear the president has a plan to do exactly that. >> the gentleman's time has expired. in this committee, we passed a piece of legislation for discretionary spending. we passed on a bipartisan basis, for 2020 and 2021. the gentleman from virginia. >> thank you very much. we've heard it's not a revenue problem, it is a spending problem. the fact is, it is arithmetic. whatever you spend, you have to pay for. when one goes up, that's a problem. since nixon and ford, every
republican president has and up with a worse deficit than they started with and every democrat has ended up with a better deficit situation then they started with, without exception, and this president seems well on track to keeping that trend going. we have the budget projections. we assume 3% growth. everyone else in the world is suggesting a 2% or less growth. and so, the numbers will obviously be reflective of that. as the gentleman from pennsylvania noted, we have a 1-2-3 plan going. someone suggested you have a $1.5 trillion tax cut, and pay for it with cuts to social security and medicare and medicaid. they said that's ridiculous, but whoops, we taxes, 2, have a big deficit and 3, you expect us to cut medicare, medicaid and social security.
mr. director, you would acknowledge this administration supports litigation that would end the affordable care act. you promised a replacement. are you aware in the last congress the republican-controlled house and thete, the house passed repeal and replace with the president's support, the cbo score showed 27 million fewer people would be insured, costs would go up 25% and significant erosion of protections for people with pre-existing conditions. dir. vought: i am aware cbo had similar estimates we rejected at the time. >> you also recognize the junk plans the president supports would allow healthy people to get into junk plans, making everybody else in sicker pools, so if you have a pre-existing condition you're stuck over there and there would be increased pressure on those with pre-existing conditions. now, you said medicare is not
being cut? dir. vought: that's correct. medicare will grow 6% over this budget. >> how much does the elderly population increase over the time,, and can you tell us what per capita spending on medicare will be over that period of time? dir. vought: i don't have it at hand, but i'm sure you have it. >> i don't have it. that's why i asked. as expenses go up, inflation goes up, so you have to keep up with inflation. the population is going up, so you have to pay more because more people, is that right? dir. vought: it is correct. we are way above that. >medical inflation -- >> cbo has a baseline to keep up with everything. dir. vought: cbo has a baseline that includes paying more than we would like to in prescription drug costs. cbo has a baseline that assumes we pay more than we would like to on things like cat scans. >> and you come up about half $1
trillion short of the baseline. dir. vought: we have savings, 135 billion dollars in drug pricing. we have savings for payment site neutrality, savings where we take things out of the medicare trust fund and still sel fund them outside of medicare. >> you come in about half $1 trillion under the proposed basis. is it true that the department of education cuts are 8%? dir. vought: it is true we have a consolidated block grant of $20 billion for education spending that takes 30 programs and consolidates them to the styaate. we have basically flat funding from the year before, once you control for the fact we are limiting --' >> is it true that the department of education is cut 8%? dir. vought: there is a percent reduction for the department of education. it is based on eliminating programs that don't work, but don't lead to better math and reading scores.
>> which is important because the department of education report shows reading proficiency was lower in 2019 then in 2017. you cut $5 billion from elementary and secondary education? dir. vought: and when programs that don't lead to more proficiency in reading and math, they prove that in studies, a program like the 21st century learning program, we illuminate that program. >> i take that as a yes. cutting $5 billion to education. an under present law, on after 15sed payment years and the rest is discharged, what happens under your plan? >> is discharged -- dir. vought: it is discharged. after 15 years. >> and public service loan forgiveness? >> people benefiting from that program would be benefiting from the new program after 15 years of the income driven repayment plan, the same way as graduate students would have the benefit
after 30 years. >> instead of 10 years under the present plan? dir. vought: 15 years under the present plan, 30 years -- >> under present law, the public service loan forgiveness is discharged after 10? dir. vought: that may be correct. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman's time has expired. we recognize the gentleman from connecticut -- gentlewoman from connecticut for five minutes. >> thank you. i think it has been stunning this morning, what we have been subjected to this morning, an orwellian presentation that showcases doublespeak. what is doublespeak, and what is its purpose? its purpose is to distort reality. so, let's talk a little bit about reality. mr. chairman, you pointed out were sent over in july, part of the bipartisan
budget agreement. the president signed it, and what we find in the new budget is that he has walked away from that budget agreement. bipartisan. let's talk about that. i canhe other thing, if just mentioned the conversation around budget cuts. determining whether a federal budget proposal comes with budget cuts is simple. if the proposal would reduce funding for programs or services, or reduce the number of people who qualify for benefits relative to levels under current law, it is a cut. again, reality. let me clarify some of the distortions of reality about this budget. the reality about job growth. it has been lagging in key states. don't take my word for it. let's go to the bureau of labor statistics. pennsylvania, michigan,
wisconsin, ohio, minnesota, job growth is lagging. that's what the bureau says. reality! real wages are barely increasing. i didn't make up this number, mr. chairman. it is the bureau of labor statistics. further reality. been essentially the same as under obama. that comes from the bureau of economic analysis. reality, isate, in levels.ow past that comes from the bureau of economic analysis. the historical average is 3%. the trump administration is 2.5%. the bureau of economic analysis.
manufacturing, manufacturing share continues to decline, to new all-time lows. there is no blue-collar boom. that is doublespeak, and that information comes from the bureau of economic analysis. ostause key states l manufacturing jobs last year. minnesota, pennsylvania, wisconsin, michigan, ohio. comes from the, bureau of labor statistics. from the federal reserve, and from the census bureau, that the president's policies have only income inequality worse. those are the facts. you can say what you like.
you can distort the truth any day of the week. you can continue to talk about fashion. orwellian but they are cuts. one last fact. i was at a hearing this morning with regard to the coronavirus. dc looked at fema and the c being two of the pillars that will help us in this effort. what are we watching? we are watching the fema budget being cut, both individual assistance, federal assistance, disaster relief funds. we're watching the cdc budget being cut. and the money that they need to deal with this virus. and we are watching what they
are doing to helping states and localities. i rest my case, mr. chairman. this is nothing but an orwellian distortion of what the reality is. thank you. yield back. >> i now recognize the gentleman from nevada for five minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i don't know where to begin. i'd like to start by pointing out the concern that i know i have, and the majority of my constituents in nevada have, that when the 2017 congress along with the president passed the historic jobs and tax cut thatthat we were worried this day would come where the proposal would be made to balance those tax cuts on the backs of the working people of this country. we now know that that tax cut
to theed $1.9 trillion deficit, and you're here today to defend a budget that seeks to balance our budget on the backs of working americans. one of the safety net programs that is most at risk of harm is the supplemental nutrition assistance program, also known as snap. $182 billion cut over 10 years from snap, by imposing stricter work requirements that have already been rejected by democrats and republicans. 130,000 nevada families rely on snap benefits to put food on their table, and we know that snap has a tremendous multiplier effect in our economy, both in rural and urban areas. yet president trump keeps
trying to take food out of the mouths of children and needy families, to do what? bigive tax breaks to corporations and the very wealthy. ector, how many families would lose snap coverage? dir. vought: the way you describe it is not true. >> how many? dir. vought: in two primary ways. >> the question -- i am asking you a question. the question is how many individuals -- dir. vought: we don't think people will lose coverage because of these proposals. we think people will get off food stamps and get off the cycle of dependency and onto the economic ladder with jobs that don't require them to be on social safety net programs. >> i am reclaiming my time.
americans, 44% of the workforce today, earn barely enough to live on, making $18,000 a year. putting people on part-time jobs that don't pay livable wages does not get them off a cycle of dependency. [crosstalk] i am reclaiming my time. the president also proposes to eliminate $1.7 billion from the corporation for travel promotion, also known as brand usa. this is a direct attack on nevada's tourism industry. in, 2018 alone brand usa brought over one point one million international visitors to the united states, including to las vegas, creating 52,000 american jobs and generating a total economic impact of $8.9 billion. director, can you explain to me why this administration wants to get rid of brand usa, which has
proven to be an economic engine for nevada and the rest of the nation? dir. vought: we believe that the economic policies of this president put forward with regard to extending the tax cuts, which are working -- >> my question is regarding brand usa. don't refer to some broad, general talking point. i am asking about this program that has a tremendous, direct impact on our nation. economic agenda a based on a strategy of -- >> tourism is not a part of your economic agenda? dir. vought: i am not suggesting -- >> moving on. the president directly attacks nevada, by completely eliminat the$230 million from southern nevada public lands management act. just last year the interior secretary provided $100 million to support 47 public lands projects throughout nevada and the california side of the lake
tahoe basin. these projects included wildlife, wildfire prevention, and hazardous fuels reduction. why are you and the president proposing to take away federal money and jobs from nevadans by canceling funding? and let me point out that 5% of the revenue generated goes to the state of nevada general fund, and 10% goes to the southern nevada water authority. so this budget actually attacks the education of nevada's children and our water supply. why does the -- is the administration doing that? dir. vought: we disagree with that analysis. we find the 800 million dollars about the gated balances in that program, and the types of projects that this program has funded is slowly over time drawing down in terms of them not being able to have applications for the spending. why we have unobligated
balances. $200 million of that savings for deficit reduction. >> money from the children of nevada to balance your budget on the backs of working americans, after giving a tax cut to the very wealthy and big corporations, is not going to happen, not on my watch. >> the gentleman's time has expired. wi now recognize the gentleman from georgia. >> i would like to give him credit. we've been here 10 years and we haven't had any budget pass. we used two but the obama budget on the floor to see if anyone would vote for it, and generally folks would not. director, i am grateful to you for going through this exercise. i find this is the only conversation about priorities we end up having in a line by line way. you take a big risk when you put things down line by line, which is why folks like to talk about principles instead of specifics. and the budget act requires it and the administration complies
with it, as the obama administration did, and i'm grateful for you doing that. you may not have looked at the tax bill, not the tax cut bill, the tax reform bill. payroll taxd the in favor of a national sales tax. they said, i think it is a great idea but i want to hang onto my home mortgage interest induction. but we are eliminating the income taxes so there is nothing to direct -- deduct your home mortgage interest against. i'm thinking about that as you talk about folks losing benefits because they have succeeded into a place where they no longer need those benefits. i'm all about the economic ladder. i want folks to be able to climb it. some folks come down, some folks go up, it needs to be a dynamic place. if you were looking at budget
priorities, could you talk a little about whether those were decisions to cut things you thought were irrelevant, or decisions based on a larger plan where we said, we are not going to need these things as much because we are going to be succeeding? dir. vought: i think i mentioned this in my opening testimony. this is not meant to be a green eyeshades budget. we have investments where we believe -- where the president believes investments need to be made. infrastructure, rural america, ongoing funding for addressing the opioid epidemic. a 13%tion's veterans, increase for veterans and a 12% increase for nasa, areas where we looked at it and said, even with the top line fiscal goals we are trying to accomplish, we have got to get to these levels. then we looked at other areas and try to find waste an inefficiencies, and we found them everywhere, to be honest
with you. but looking to find where can we get rid of program duplication, where is the underlying logic for particular policy need to change? i mentioned land acquisition earlier, when we have 25% of the land in this country owned by the federal government, an easy place to find savings by not pursuing additional land. so when we write a budget we try to meet fiscal goals, but we do it with the context of these programs where we need to find savings and where we need to make investment. >> i do agree. we cannot cut our way into prosperity. we have got to grow our way into prosperity. candidly, i was disappointed in the last republican presidential primary, that nobody ran on balancing the budget. folks ran on new promises, on tax cuts. nobody ran on balancing the budget. the same is true in the democratic primary going on now.
i listen to some of these very heartfelt conversations about real people losing real benefits. that's the only place this conversation lands if we don't get our fiscal house in order. financial collapses hurt those who need the government most. can you tell me a little about that long-term planning? so easy to get caught up in what this budget says about this year. i'm more interested in how this budget will impact us 10 years and 20 years from now. dir. vought: we put forward a 15 year plan to get to balance. we believe that's a vital fiscal goal. we have to be able to get more along the lines of where american families are every month, balancing the books to make sure they have enough spending restraint to reflect the money that's coming in. so that's going to continue to be our. posture this is not running away from deficits and debt. he is tackling them and is putting forward, this is the
fourth budget he's put forward. congress has differing views with regard to whether those budgets should pass. the president is coming before this chamber and saying, this is my plan to get to balance, and i look forward to hearing your plan. >> i hope you will hear from our plan. i've had to write budgets on this committee. it turns out it's hard to do. there's a reason we have open rules on budgets, and anybody can offer their budget. it turns out not many people want to offer their budget because it is hard to do. i give the progressive caucus credit for doing it. but i certainly give the administration credit for doing it. thank you. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota -- gentlewoman from minnesota, ms. omar, for five minutes. >> thank you for the shout out to the progressive caucus for putting out a budget. hasnted to ask, how much
the national debt increased under trump so far? dir. vought: right now debt as a percentage of gdp is roughly where it was when president trump came into office as it pertains to fiscal year -- >> can you just say how much? dir. vought: right now the national debt is $23 trillion. it is too high. that's why we have a budget here to tackle it, with 4.6 trillion dollars in deficit reduction over 10 years. >> all right. trillion.ncreased $3 your deficit in 2020 alone will be more than 60% higher than the year trump took office. massive tax cuts, aggressive military spending and excessive immigration enforcement has all partially contributed to these
high deficits. revenue as share of the economy is at a historic low, and income inequality is at historic highs. canil to see how you realistically balance the budget under your current policies. but you are still expecting that high income growth will help pay for these wasteful spending policies. was the l -- when was the last time that the annual gdp has hit your projected growth rate of 3% or higher per year? dir. vought: our first year, we were way over our economic growth number, when the actuals came in at 2%, and we were significant the underneath that. out of the last three years it has been closer to our mark two of the last three years. i would say that we are trying to reduce wasteful spending in this budget. of tax reliefnk
for american families as wasteful spending. we think it is their own heart -- hard money that we are returning them so they can invest in their communities and households. >> we differ from that. it was never during this presidency. your growth projection is about cbo expected during that same time period. however, we know this administration is not afraid to cut important programs millions of americans rely on everyday. four days agoly the president stated he would not be cutting social security the fiscal in 20 to anyone budget. -- 2021 budget. so i'm glad we are now getting the opportunity to make sure we have this administration on record for its false promises to the american people.
my colleagues on the others and and this administration will lecture us on the academic principles of fiscal responsibility, and austerity by limiting deficit spending and less it means tax cuts for the rich -- unless it means tax cuts for the rich. the projected deficit will top $1 trillion this year, and trillion dollar deficits continuing every year thereafter under your current policies. this ran on this promise, impossible promise to eliminate all u.s. debt after eight years in office, but your own projections show he will not even managed to come close to eliminating a budget deficit until 2035. republicans will shift focus to high deficits and raising the
national debt that they are causing, not only to push for deep cuts in vital programs for working families, but also to distract us from the even bigger number. $35 trillion. about taxt you talk cuts as putting money back into people's pockets, but i know t hat most americans see how their and everyday citizens are struggling under these cruel cuts you are making to programs that are desperately needed by most americans. thank you, and i yelled back. >> now recognize the gentleman from california, mr. panetta. >> thank you for holding this hearing, ranking member, director, thank you for coming here and attempting to defend this budget, which i do believe
is a failure to invest in our communities and does lack the will to invest in our future. this budget, i believe, takes a step backward. it creates greater challenges for the families i represent on the central coast of california, especially those in need of affordable housing, good schools and healthy meals. it does fail to protect our environment or address climate change. it abandons public servants deserving of student loan forgiveness and makes it harder for low-income students to afford college. it cuts social security even after the president promised not to do so. it sabotages our health care system by cutting medicare and medicaid. it does all of this while increasing spending on political promises such as building the wall. the proposed budget also pushes the notion that cutting spending is the only way to get our deficits under control.
i believe that if we don't have the revenue to make the investments we need in affordable housing, nutrition and education, protecting our environment, fighting climate change, then we should not be continuing tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest and corporations. fortunately, congress, not the president, has the power of the purse. and going forward, i am confident we will make more responsible decisions with taxpayer dollars than what has been proposed by this administration. the president has promised to eliminate deficits. we understand that promise. we have heard it. yet even under very optimistic growth predictions that are a full percentage point above cbo and the federal reserve, the budget would not be balanced until about 2045. are there any independent or nonpartisan analysts who share those predictions, mr. director? dir. vought: this is a policy
budget with economic assumptions. the forecasters out there taking the current law as it is an current economic environment, that is what is based on their forecasting. we assume the policies of this proposal are enacted, whether that is infrastructure, agreeing to better trade deals, getting people off of welfare rolls, all those things are policies -- >> mr. director, reclaiming my time, are there any independent or nonpartisan analysis who share your growth predictions? dir. vought: there are many economists out there who are advocates of economic growth at three and higher levels, and forecasters out there who as i mentioned are predominantly looking at current law. >> thank you, mr. director. reclaiming my time, i appreciated. i have a short time here and want to get through this. the cbo revised estimates of the 2017 tax law's cost. have you factored those increased costs into the deficit impact or is this administration
still insisting the tax cuts pay for themselves? dir. vought: we continue to insist that the economic agenda of this president, the tax cuts, deregulatory initiatives within fact pay for the cost of both the original score and the extension of the tax cuts. >> thank you. unfortunately, i am on the ways and means committee as well, and we had a pretty good hearing yesterday about corporate tax revenues or the lack thereof, i should say, and share of gdp. considering they are at historically low rates, lower than almost every other advanced economy. does the administration still believe that taxes should be reformed in any way on corporations? dir. vought: we are looking forward to a tax 2.0 conversation with regard to reform and there's a lot of things that will be part of that conversation. we are mainly proposing to extend the tax cuts, but the administration will continue to work on other tax reform proposals over the next several years. i know there's been news in the
press along those lines, and that's when we intend. >> thank you. as i mentioned, i am from the central coast of california and there are certain things we are threatened by when it comes to climate change. sea level rise, increased wildfires, and yet this budget cuts funding to the u.s. geological survey by 24% and for the national oceanic and atmospheric administration by 24%. has this administration factored cost of climate change into models? dir. vought: we have not. >> thank you. on the same lines, the budget greatly stifles clean energy innovation and ends tax incentives for clean energy deployment like the solar tax credit, cuts funding for the department of energy office of energy efficiency and renewable energy by nearly three quarters the clean energy solutions of tomorrow. without these programs and incentives, how will we be able to develop and deploy critical technologies to reduce
emissions? dir. vought: you look at the totality of our budget, we have about $8.5 billion devoted to andate related research clean energy technology. we do have a shift from applied research to basic research, but we still feel we are putting a very strong foot forward with the development of clean energy. >> thank you. i yield back. >> now recognize the gentleman gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee. >> thank you. vought, thank you for your service to the country. i just left a markup in judiciary that is still ongoing, but i did not want to miss the opportunity to at least ask one or two questions to the administration. but i would offer to say that this symbol and language is
clearly both misdirecting and incorrect. this is not about america's future, not about an investment in america's future. this is a destructive document for ending america's future, particularly as it relates to the question of investing in all of the people of this country. i am stunned, literally stunned, cuts, including the trillion dollars that is being cut out of medicare and medicaid, including the close to $4 billion that is coming out of lifesaving medical research in light of the coronavirus. there is a briefing coming up in just a minute or so. education in in districts like mine. $6.2 billion, to focus on
private schools rather than public. the lack of by sensitivity to what this country needs. i am stunned he would cut fema federal assistance, coming from district that experienced hurricane harvey. grants critical for terrorism and disaster preparedness, by $746 million. i am stunned. finally, i am further stunned, be gearedems to toward ensuring the most vulnerable people in this country get the short end of the stick. let me share some information with you, very quickly, from the center for the study of social policy, on the racist roots of work requirements. work requirements do not support work. they harm families. the most basic part of it. welfare has since
mandated work, hundreds of thousands of families have been left with less than two dollars a day of cash in america. thousands of people have lost their health insurance. this spring, over 700,000 people will likely lose food assistance as states begin to implement the trump administration's expanded snap time limits, and what they are giving it towards,, in slavery they began to characterize the descendents of enslaved africans as lazy, a stereotype, and there were laws in place that if you were picking cotton, you could not get assistance. this is trying to uproot the long belief that poor people, particularly african-americans and now immigrants and others, are lazy. this budget clearly emphasizes that unfortunately racially-charge direction, in
cutting medicaid, in cutting nutrition programs, in cutting housing. and so, my question is this. >> congresswoman, that is ridiculous. >> excuse me. i have the time and i am reclaiming it. i have the time. [crosstalk] you don't have the time. >> a chance to respond if you want? >> how can you justify the inclusion of work requirements that are not supported by any evidence they increase employment, and the repeal of medicaid expansion, and in addition how do you justify a full ofike this that is the, how should i say this, the beings,of damaged human and you continue to do that with this destructive domestic cuts budget. and you had an agreement where you would agree to fund defense
spending and domestic spending at the same and you reneged on the agreement. what is your answer to that? now i yield to you. dir. vought: president clinton signed into law historic legislation to reform wealth thatthat had a -- welfare had a work requirement that led to a historic dropping caseloads. because people were getting off of welfare onto the ladder of economic opportunity. >> i voted against that bill, and it was wrong. dir. vought: the only thing we did was expand it to food stamps, medicaid and housing because we think it is a principle that will lead to more opportunity rather than less. >> mr. chairman, i would like to put into the record the washington examiner, seven years of change you can see and feel by myself dealing with the collapse of the economy under this administration. i don't think that is an answer. it did not work under the past administrations and it will not work now. poverty is on the increase. people pay more money under the
trump tax cuts, for those making $50,000 to $100,000, they will pay almost $1 billion of more taxes and the top 1% will pay less. that's what i say about a destructive pathway, and i don't know how in good conscience you could put this budget forward for us to even receive. it is doing nothing to reduce the deficit except on the backs of children, poor mothers, elderly and the disabled. it is shameful. those who seek opportunity provide for the greatness of this country. i am stunned. i yield back. >> without objection, the sonimous consent request ordered. i recognize the ranking member for 10 minutes. >> i think the chairman, and i think the acting director of omb for being here and serving as a pinata ofor my friends on the others of the aisle to take as
many shots as they prefer. as i said in my opening, at least the president has produced a budget. and as has been mentioned many times, the speaker of the house has indicated when you show us your budget, you show us your values. and by the way, there was a very carefully worded question by my friend mr. price from north carolina earlier in this hearing that i want to go back to, about when thege of a budget republicans last control this committee. carefully worded in a sense, he said, did republicans pass a budget, assuming he's talking about on the floor. i want to clarify and make sure for the record, as the chairman knows, that this committee, where this process begins, did in fact produce a budget, and passed a budget out of this committee and referred it to the house. as the director knows and my
friend the chairman knows, from there it becomes a matter of leadership to decide whether or not that particular piece of legislation goes to the full house. just want to be clear, this committee did produce a budget, in that year. now, having said that, i want to get back to more of a higher level. i'm often amused as to how, when a director like director vought or anyone else in his position would suggest reforms and savings for funding at the federal level, all of a sudden the world crumbles, lives are destroyed. whenct, director vought, the federal government doesn't fund some programs, that doesn't mean people are left out in the cold. in many cases, those programs are funded elsewhere. let me bring up cdbg, here.
i'm very familiar with community developing block grants, because i was a mayor. cdbg was not funded, is it accurate to say that all of the programs and services offered through those programs would no longer be funded? dir. vought: of course not. they would be other opportunities for those activities and initiatives to be funded. >> what would it require of those local governments to do? dir. vought: they would have to either look for other opportunities from the federal government to absorb that, or have to rely more on the tax base of their local community so it is less of a revenue transfer from the federal government. >> the menu of things they already fund outside of the programs funded by cdbg, would it not be fair to say they would have to go back through their priorities and determine what if any of those programs funded by cdbg would need to be picked up
by say the general fund? dir. vought: absolutely. >> isn't that what the federal government should do? dir. vought: we believe that to be the case. it is time to make tough choices, that even programs that have been around a long time, it's time to figure out in an era of $23 trillion of national debt, where we make trade-offs. one of these areas is the cdbg program because we think it has not led to the kinds of outcomes that would lead communities to get to a point where they don't need that money, as opposed to just continuing to draw it down every year. >> my argument is, cities and counties that have an opportunity to pull the money out of the federal government can save on those expenses at the local level, reprioritize and take what would have been available for those services to fund other things. personnel, equipment and what have you. i think it is wrong to suggest a program is, if zero doubt that all those people
get left in the cold. isn't that what american families do every month, that have household budgets? dir. vought: they do. they absolutely do. they go through every month and figure out what's coming in, what's going out. you areou address where spending money. they address going out to eat, hobbies, shopping budget, and make tougher choices from there. but they make trade-offs, and they know they can't just get away with putting everything on a credit card. areo, in that spirit, we $23 trillion in debt. i don't have the number right in front of me, but i want to say the net interest on the debt is just short of $400 billion. so to make this relevant to somebody at home, this is like getting a credit card bill in the mail and there is a place on the credit card bill that says minimum payment due, which is
effectively the interest in some cases, not all cases. but in this particular case the $380 billion in net interest does not reduce the debt at all, does it? dir. vought: it just pays for interest payments. to give you a little perspective, that's about three times the size of the department of v.a. the resources going just to pay the interest on the debt. >> just paying the interest on it debt, all the while goes higher and higher. my point is this, not just as a budget guy but as an appropriate that net interest on the debt goes to crowd out other funding that might be available for some of the programs that we are trying to reform, to find savings so we can save ourselves from this catastrophe, would that not be an accurate statement? dir. vought: it is accurate, for sure. >> now, both gentlemen to my
left and right served with me a couple years ago on the joint select committee on budget process reform, and one of the reasons we are in the shape we are in today is because we didn't do budgets. budgets are hard to do these days, so we end up plucking numbers out of the air, what we set those inbers, stone and then the leadership look at those numbers and come to some agreement and the rest of us are obliged to go along with that or force a government shutdown. the process is no longer working for the american people, certainly not consistent with the 1974 budget act. so i ask you a question about that in my remaining time. we have advocated, both rob and mr. yarmuth,, as members of the committee we look at fiscal targets as an example of a solution.
if we can't balance the books, let's at least look at a target, and debt to gdp was one of those targets. those debt, what are to gdp targets from today to in your budget? dir. vought: we would go to roughly around 80% of gdp to 60% of gdp. we are a big supporter of fiscal goals. that's what we focus on balance. but there's a lot of different fiscal goals you can come up with. as someone who has written a budget before, it is next to impossible to make trade-offs within a budget and produce these things with any degree of progress with regard to what you are going to do with the debt and deficits if you don't have a fiscal goal. >> you are trying to find savings on the mandatory side of the budget. we know 70% of the budget is on the mandatory side, and without congressional action it continues to go out of sight. and the food fights we have here in congress are usually on the discretionary side.
you felt some of that here today. but that's only about 30% of the federal budget. a point that i think is worth repeating, to illustrate the point, as a percentage of gdp, as a percentage of our economy, mandatory spending continues to go higher, does it not? as a percentage of gdp, the money left for all the other things included in the discretionary budget, that is the budget the appropriators will allocate,? is going lower, correct? dir. vought: it is a fair point -- is going lower, correct? dir. vought: it is a fair point. there needs to be a look at all aspects of the budget, but the main mathematical driver is on the mandatory side. >> if we go after the mandatory side, doesn't it stand to believe we do a budget resolution including all of federal spending? dir. vought: yes. >> are there triples the budget committee can use to bring down the mandatory side? dir. vought: there are tools. that budget resolutions can do
to be able to propose spending on both the discretionary and mandatory side. that's what we have tried to do with this budget. >> but you have to do a budget resolution in order to get to that particular tool in the toolbox. dir. vought: without a budget resolution passing the house and senate, you cannot do a reconciliation bill with a chance to get to the senate. >> thank you. i appreciate you being here today. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. should caskey -- schakowsky, in five minutes. president trump said he was the first candidate to say that there would be no cuts in medicare, medicaid or social security. after winning the nomination with the help of plenty of senior citizens, and every year since this election, he has pose for seniorpion
citizens. and yet every year he has broken the promises. in this year's budget you propose to slash $500 $1lion from medicare, almost trillion for medicaid, and $24 billion from social security, disability, and my right? dir. vought: you are not. >> yes, i am. dir. vought: the president fully protects social security and medicare in this budget. >> you are saying those numbers don't exist? dir. vought: i am saying they do not reflect the reality that these programs are going up each and every year. ok. we really interpret numbers i guess different from you. when there's almost one trillion dollars cut from medicaid. mr. vought, yes or no.
just hours before the introduction of the budget on monday, did president trump tweet "we will not be touching medicareal security or in fiscal 2021 budget?" dir. vought: that tweet is fully reflected in the budget you see today. budget fully protects social security and medicare beneficiaries. >> we totally disagree. as you all the advocates for social security, medicare and medicaid who are professionals as well. likes to trump often say "our air and water are the cleanest they have ever been." vought, does this budget propose cutting funding for the environmental protection agency? dir. vought: it does. 26%,oposes a cut to epa by and we believe we will still be able to fulfill the statutory
responsibilities of clean air and clean water and -- >> in the time he has been president we have seen an increase in carbon emissions, going absolutely in the wrong way. and when it comes to education, the president it seems is not any different. in the state of the union, americans saw a spectacle of president trump giving a young, african-american girl, who by the way didn't have a seat there, she was on the stairs, a scholarship to a school of her choice, saving her from the failing government schools. but the philadelphia inquirer reported the student already attended one on pennsylvania's top charter schools. mr. vought, yes or no, does the fy 2021 budget cut the department of education's funding? dir. vought: there is a $20 billion education block grant in this budget that consolidates 30
programs in a way that allows states more flexibility. it would be roughly the same level as last year once you assume the elimination of programs we have long believed don't work. budget,ct, on every president trump has proposed to cut critical funding for our public schools. we call them public schools. i was a public school teacher. i am very proud of that. now, this idea that they are these failing "government schools," i am not sure what the implication was. the same story this year, with the proposed $5.6 billion in cuts to the department of education. the president's 2021 budget is nothing more than a laundry list of broken promises. i am proud to be part of the house democratic majority that will invest in america's health care, environment and education
for years to come, and i yield back. >> i yield myself time. i just want to quickly correct one thing. i referred to nearly $1 million in waste, and i was referring to the professional cricket league in afghanistan. want to make sure that is understood for the record. >> i begin by thanking you for your patience and indulgence. i know this can get heated and contentious, but you have handled it responsibly in a dignified fashion and i thank you for that. i want to remind everyone for the record that the majority leader of the senate announced the senate is not going to do a budget as well, and i raise that that because they are not doing it we are not doing it. we have passed a budget for the last two years, and we have shown our values, the majority here.
passing a budget resolution this particular year would change absolutely nothing. next year, if we are still in the majority, my ranking member friend, you can hold me to that obligation next year. on what are and what are not cuts. i understand with medicare and medicaid that there is a legitimate argument. but on the discretionary side of yearudget, right, this under the president's budget the total discretionary nondefense spending is $590 billion, a $40 billion cut from the current year. from the caps we agreed on in the bipartisan deal. the totalw what nondiscretionary spending would be in 2030? dir. vought: in 2030? off the top of my head i do not. >> according to the center on
budget and policy priorities, it will be somewhere around $406 billion. he characterized it as the lowest level of nondefense discretionary spending as a percentage of the economy since the coolidge administration when the federal government was obviously a lot less active and a lot smaller. so, it's hard to say that's not a significant cut to that side of the project, which has many programs that are very important to moderate and lower income individuals. i have to be a little bit miffed, i guess is the best word. because you talk about savings, waste, fraud, and that you will do different types of approaches. but has the administration offered any legislation in those areas? the administration has not offered legislation to deal with health care, to deal with
alternative education student loan programs, infrastructure. you talked about a trillion dollar infrastructure program. matched withlion, $800 billion in city, state or private funds. the federal commitment is not anywhere close to a trillion dollars. we're you have programs, you're askingpt, us to accept the fact we will save money with all these alternative approaches. but the administration has never offered legislation to give us any confidence they could carry out those programs. and when you talk about pre-existing conditions, forgive me for being a little snarky, but as someone who has lied according to the fact checker of the washington post 16,000 times in three years in office, the
fact he says he will protect pre-existing conditions when no one, no one in this country has ever proposed a plan to protect pre-existing conditions and guarantee price to the american consumer. issue, have guaranteed you can buy insurance, but not guaranteed price protection, which means they are not protected. so i think it's a little disingenuous to say that the president is committed to pre-existing conditions. no one has been able to come up with a plan. dir. vought: may i speak to that? a couple of things. on the 2% reduction for nondefense, all we are asking to do is open up 5% one year and 2% each year. we call it a two penny plan. we believe that's completely
rational and something that over time we can find the reforms, and it would require reforms. we put out a government reorganization plan to be able to start this debate about the magnitude of what would be necessary. similarly, sometimes in our budgets we propose a lot of specificity and sometimes we don't. our first year we had a lot of specifics on infrastructure and the hill came back to us and said, next time we actually want to get something done in this area, we would prefer you not to have as much specifics. that's where we currently are. we have a $1 trillion plan. we assume that higher levels of spending along the lines of what senator barrasso has put forward, we fill the highway trust fund with savings from mandatory reforms elsewhere. so we believe we're putting an credible path forward. what we have refused to do is raise taxes on the american people. and then finally, the president -- it's not just his commitment that he has repeatedly articulated. he has put forward plans or supported plans that do this. we had last year in the budget a specific proposal called
graham-cassidy. it's not in there this year because the president is working on his own plan that we're not ready to reveal. but it will be fully reflected in what he comes forward with and it has been in past plans that he has supported. >> thank you very much. in your testimony, i think you misspoke. you cited a statistic that this administration has touted in recent months and you said that the bottom half of the country, the population, has had their, you said today, income grown by 47%. your testimony actually said their net worth has grown by 47%. am i correct? it's net worth and not income you're talking about? >> yes. >> so given the fact that one in five american families has zero to negative net worth, it doesn't take much, $10 or $100, to get a pretty significant percentage increase. but that's not the point i'm going to get at. in dollar terms, that increase
for the bottom half of the population of households amounted to roughly $500 billion. do you know what the same dollar increase in net worth was for the top 1%? >> i don't have that at my fingertips right now. >> i do have the answer. >> we do believe we have gotten people off of welfare. 10 million people off of welfare, seven million people are off of food stamps. and over time their incomes double and triple once they're off of these cycles of dependency. while a number -- and i haven't checked that math recently -- but to the extent there's a smaller number on a chart that you produce along those lines, we don't think that that's the dynamic story. we think the dynamic story will be more economic opportunity over the next -- >> i understand that. but the top 1% net worth has grown $3.5 trillion. $3.5 trillion versus $500 billion for the entire half of the population.
so any idea that this economy has in any way balanced the scales of income inequity or net worth in the country is ridiculous. i'm going to conclude by asking you something i mentioned in my opening remarks. i said that your obligation as acting director is to ensure that omb is adhering to the requirements of the impoundment control act. and fully respecting that the sts congress ve with the power of the person. as acting omb director, what steps are you taking to ensure that omb will not withhold duly enacted appropriations again from the agencies to whom congress appropriated those funds and what steps are you taking to ensure that information is being shared with congress and there is transparency for the american people? >> yeah, we believe we've been transparent. so up until the point at which the impeachment proceedings began, or the beginnings of impeachment proceedings -- i want to be careful because we've been able to have a hearing
without re-litigating the last several months -- we were producing information as we normally would with both this committee and the appropriations committee regarding to specific apportionments and things along those lines. that's how we operate. we've given gao all the information that they have requested, to our knowledge. there's a recent accusation along the lines of something different. but the letter that we sent to gao, we believe, had the information that they were requesting and there was no follow-up from gao. so the long answer -- the short and sweet answer is, yes, we will continue to be transparent with regard to how we manage the people's money and all that we're doing is managing it efficiently, economically, with spending plans to ensure that money is not wasted in the process. >> but that ultimately is not your determination. if congress decides to pass a wasteful program -- and we certainly shouldn't do that -- do you feel it's your obligation to implement the spending
priorities that the congress establishes or do you not? >> we believe that we need to abide by the appropriation that you've passed by congress, that our ability to manage efficiency and economically within that appropriation. we look at the appropriations law, we look at the authorization law, and we figure out what our flexibilities within that -- within that framework. >> i accept your answer and your representation. and we will hold you to it. thank you very much, once again, for being here and your work on behalf of the american people. and if there's no further business, the hearing is adjourned. >> thank you, mr. chairman. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
your uncensored view of government. created by cable in 1979 and brought to you by your television provider. >> live thursday on the c-span networks come on c-span the house returns at 9 a.m. to debate a bill that removes the seven year deadline for ratification of the equal rights amendment to the u.s. constitution. massachusetts senator elizabeth warren holds a townhall event in arlington, virginia. one c-span2 at 9:30 a.m., the senate continues debate on the war powers resolution that would limit u.s. action against iran with a final vote in the afternoon. and on c-span3, health and human services secretary alec cesar testifies before the senate -- alex